Incarnational theology and the materiality of digital technology

Katherine Schmidt


This paper considers the relationship between incarnational theology and the materiality of digital technology. It operates from the framework of integral ecology, namely from the vision of Laudato Si, to argue for an understanding of creation that considers material reality in terms of eschatology. The paper draws not only on integral ecology but also on the work of media archaeology (e.g. Parikka), which reorients theorists to the physical dimensions of technology, including geological elements. It considers the concrete (literally) factors of digital technology from a theological perspective. Ultimately, the paper will argue that material reality—a lacuna in so much discussion of digital “space”—is properly understood as a constitutive element in the economy of salvation, and as the production interaction with creation, technology must be considered within the framework of eschatological significance.


Assistant Professor in Theology and Religious Studies at Molloy College, New York. Her work focuses on theology and religion in American culture. I focus specifically on the intersection of religion/theology and technology, the internet, and media.

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