In the winter quarter, the 2012-2013 Bannan Institute will engage in an extended process of storytelling. Lectures and events will explore the public significance of sacred texts from diverse contexts and traditions, including the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Scriptures, the Qur'an, the Bhagavata Purana, various Buddhist sutras, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This winter series will also highlight the multiple ways in which sacred texts make meaning in the public sphere, through narrative, critical analysis, illuminations, communal and personal interpretation, electronic media, proclamation, art, and interreligious engagement.
This event will consider the following questions: How do distributed digital communities understand and negotiate religious and spiritual authority? How do they experience and authorize a common sense of “the sacred”? How does the wide distribution and adaptation of traditional sacred texts in digital spaces reshape their meaning and authority?
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is an Associate Fellow at Oxford University's Saïd Business School, and a visiting scholar in Stanford's Program in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (HSPT). He spent the spring of 2011 at Microsoft Research Cambridge, working in the Socio-Digital Systems group on contemplative computing. Pang is the author of Taming the Digital Monkey: From Perpetual Distraction to Contemplative Computing (Little Brown, 2013).
The Rev. Kimberly Knight is the founder of Koinonia Congregational Church in Second Life. Kimberly received her M.Div. from Candler School of Theology, Emory University and has a B.A. in Religious Studies. Kimberly is also the online organizer for The Beatitudes Society and serves widely as a church and social media consultant.
Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age
(Soft Skull Press, 2011)