Between the Sacred and the Mystical: Humanity, Nature, and the Anxiety of Technology Networks

Event Date: 

Friday, April 2, 2004 - 12:30pm

Event Location: 

  • CTL Trailer 932

Thomas Carlson

If a global humanity is emerging today by means of technological networks and their multiple correlates, the intelligence and agency exercised through such networks can seem to unsettle any number of categories and concepts that have long been taken to define both the "human" "subject" and the world of "objective" "nature." Seeking to identify and elucidate these unsettling effects of our emerging technological networks, this talk argues that the most anxious--and often violent--responses to those networks can involve an attempt to re-secure forms of "the sacred" against forces whose logic is best understood not as "secular" or "disenchanting" but rather as "mystical." Originally recorded April 2, 2004 at UC Santa Barbara.

Thomas Carlson is a professor in the Religious Studies department at UC Santa Barbara. His areas of research and teaching include religion and modern philosophy, modernity, and post-modernity with special interest in secularization, religion and politics, and the religious dimensions of technological culture.