Hack to the Future: 

Theology, Technology and Digital Media

A four-week course that takes a journey into the ways that contemporary visual media, like film and TV, explore our relationship with digital technology.  The arts are a major location for the exploration of what it means to be human, and television and cinema in particularly express a wide variety of opinions and ideas about the complex issues related to digital technology and the human condition.

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The Human Condition

It has been said that if you want to look into what is more real than reality itself we should look to cinema. Cinematic fiction reveals much about what it means to be human that we can often only address when we see it onscreen. Television and cinema offer unique insights into how we see ourselves and perhaps more importantly what we don’t want to see.

Cinema and Technology

Film is not film anymore at least not in the traditional sense-it is wrapped up in digitality much as we are. Visual media is a product of scientific and creative discovery. Its technologies are employed for visceral and emotional experiences that alter our sense of who we are. The cinematic experience is human experience captured inside technology.

Theological Responses

Film and television offer us bite-sized looks at reality. Behind every film is an ideological construct, shaping what we see, what we feel and crafting a view of humanity that offers hopes, dreams and promises. How we might respond to the ideological promises, fantasies and realities that film and television offer is a key theological conversation.

4-Week Outline

What this conversation is all about

Through some films and popular tv shows which focus on our relationship to technology we will examine the ways that cinema can contribute to an understanding and exploration of key theological and philosophical topics. We will discuss the language of television and cinema specifically the ways in which film uses technology, editing, framing and sound to convey meaning; delve into the particular theological and philosophical issues raised by each film; and reflect on the many ways each film can be understood and interpreted in light of contemporary.

Each of the four sessions are shaped by an important and over-arching question on an aspect of the nature of reality and what it means to be human. We will examine how these particular film and tv shows address these issues and then consider possible theological responses.

What you can expect

  • This course starts LIVE Thursday, August 6th at 12pm PST via zoom.
  • For those who can't make the LIVE lecture it will be posted to watch at your leisure on our learning platform.
  • If you are purchasing this course after it has started you can go through the course from the beginning and still interact with the instructors in the archive learning section of each week.
  • Each weekly lecture lasts for about an hour or so and there will be a time of Q&A to further engage the content and instructors.
  • There are no assignments, but you can expect sessions packed with content as well as recommended reading and resources.
  • Click here to read our blog on this course.

Barry Taylor

Co-Director of H&Co, a theologian-philosopher, musician, artist, academic and writer who has spent more than thirty years challenging traditional notions of religion and church and creating alternative communities built on the idea that life is uncertain, the future is unwritten and that none of us has the answer.

More on Barry here

Kester Brewin

A teacher of mathematics in South East London, speaker and writer and is the author of a number of highly-regarded works on theology and culture, long-time consultant for BBC Education, focusing on applications of digital technology in the classroom, and the importance of story in teaching.

More on Kester here

Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn't give you what you desire - it tells you how to desire.”

-Slavoj Žižek