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Technology and Religion- What About It?

Wed, Sep. 27, 2017 Posted: 09:30 AM


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What looks so astounding is the way the technology has affected religion today. I have never predicted such a drastic change that the technology can bring in humans over a few decades. What is more, I have seen profound changes in the way people conduct religious practices with the advent of communication technology, starting from the radio era to television and then the computer.

Interestingly, the advancement in technology brought the Internet and Wi-Fi, which the modern-day Smartphone or iPhone is equipped with. I think these electronic gadgets allowed the people, especially worshippers to create a religious environment in the modern secular society.

How Mobile Phones Help Religions?
I believe that the most revolutionary device the world has seen until now is a mobile phone and traveling around I have seen the impact of it on the religion. These gadgets with the help of the Internet allow many religious practitioners to download quotes, chants, and mantra. I have witnessed this often during my visit to various places, where the parishioners recite Bible quotes, Buddhist pilgrims recite a mantra, Hindus chant verses from Bhagwat Geeta and Muslims perform prayers and read the verses from Quran.

No wonder, they follow their religious practices in the new space and time irrespective of the city or country they are in. True to what I believe, the mobile phones help them successfully follow the religious traditions, though some staunch religious followers I have come across feel that this generation of worshippers finds it difficult to engage themselves completely in the traditions.

I see another important benefit in using the mobile phone and that is its power to unite the religions, as well as the religious community. The smart use of technology like the wireless router helps one with advanced features like transferring data at high speed and clone buttons to simplify the Wi-Fi configuration and connect the mobile device automatically by copying the login details. With such an advance facility, I can easily post the sermons online for those who are interested.

Role of Social Media in Religion
By the by, the social media network helps me or anyone to maintain an active participation in the religious practices. Moreover, I learned from people who proudly explained how they performed their prayers, along with the other members, in their most preferred religious institution through the social media.

Frankly speaking, I have never participated in the prayer service, though I receive many reminders in my newsfeed. However, praying in real time, I think is powerful and it gives a sense of a pretty big community praying together.

How Technology Has Transformed Religion? Some Benefits
When the technology has a great influence on the religion, I cannot avoid mentioning a few benefits of it.

More Accessibility: I have seen religious groups going online reaching people across the world and forming a large community. The other important aspect in terms of accessibility is the call to prayer, where Muslims can refer the prayer schedules at Mecca or Medina on their mobile. The app also gives the leverage of finding the exact timings based on the place and season. A friend of mine recently revealed the secret of how he learned the verses and passages in the Bible and related them easily by going online.

The language learning apps are other latest developments, which help anyone learn a new language and experience the religion. I, along with my friend, tried learning Hebrew at a famous site which offered free lessons and encouraged Jewish tweets.

Lets Know Statistics: With the social media making big inroads into facts and figures, the religious institutions befriend technology to track the developments and unite people. Some of the institutions I have come to know keep in touch with people to promote their nonprofit ventures.

Helps Improve The Online Presence: There are many churches I know that have made their presence online. For the purpose, they hire the technical experts to develop a website and launch a Twitter or Facebook account and get into public and let them know their mission, purpose, and strategies.
I have received innumerable greetings for Christmas, as well as pastors’ messages, wherein the website asks for my opinion and response to them. The other developments are the worship spaces created in a nontraditional style to attract worshippers.

Are Technology And Religion Connected?
I would say that technology is no religion for it is independent. Nevertheless, the religions, or in fact, the religious institutions have inspired technology to support their belief. A good example is an information about the construction of pyramids and the existence of mummification technology offered by the Egyptian religious practices with the evidence in support of those.

The other reason to confirm that technology and religion are connected is the construction of architectural buildings or edifices, where the religion is dependent on the technology to build them with all those decorations and interiors. When technology plays a significant role in using modern techniques to build these buildings, the religion makes technology to preserve the age-old artifacts and other things like parchments keeping up with the customs.

In Conclusion
I conclude it by saying that technology and religion help accomplish human desires. When technology is all about creation and utilization of goods and services, religion is mystical communion with a goal. The technology helps religion, which in turn fulfills people’s desires. I believe that shortly, the Artificial Intelligence takes the place of us in doing rituals, rites, and other practices, showing the holistic view of technology and religion.

Prakash Sundaram