iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives

Underwritten by  Wedgwood Christian Services

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Craig DetweilerCraig Detweiler is a professor of communication and the director of the Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture (EMC) at Pepperdine University. He is an author, award-winning filmmaker and cultural commentator who has been featured on CNN, NPR and in The New York Times.

At EMC they consider how many hours a day media surrounds us. We wake up to our iPhones and sign off to Facebook. In between, we’re texting, downloading and streaming—inundated with information from Google, Hulu and iTunes. As T.S. Eliot wrote, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” How do we filter all our media to discern what matters?

Pepperdine is a Christian college uniquely positioned on a mountain in Malibu—surrounded by celebrities, overlooking the tranquil sea. They can hear the electronic clamor, but also offer a respite, a chance to reflect. The Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture is committed to creating more thoughtful interaction with our entertainment. They’re asking why we watch what we watch, figuring out where things are headed, forging a brighter future for our children.

Scientists have enriched our agricultural production, but what about our media culture? What kinds of programs are we offering each other? Technology has lowered the costs of production and distribution, but what will we do with this unprecedented opportunity? The next generation wants to create businesses that give back like TOMS. They want to shine a spotlight on Uganda like the documentary Invisible Children. They want to design campaigns like “Got Milk” that promote healthier habits.

At the EMC, they’re creating entertainment for the (un)common good.

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Craig Detweiler is the author of a number of books on media and cuture including his most recent, iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives, in which he discusses the major symbols of our distracted age to investigate the impact of the technologies and cultural phenomena that drive us.


Follow on Twitter: @CraigDetweiler