Diane Winston Poses a “Big Question” for Templeton Foundation

“Does Digital Communication Encourage or Inhibit Spiritual Progress?” asks Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion, for the John Templeton Foundation publication Big Questions Online.

“Podcasts, blogging, videostreaming provide unprecedented opportunities for laypeople to study and learn,” writes Winston. “But that very accessibility enables what [Sister Catherine] Wybourne calls a ‘lowest-common-denominator eclecticism,’ or what sociologists dub a ‘cafeteria-style’ approach to religion. The ability to pick and choose religious teachings without reference to religious authority or community norms can pique consumerist tendencies at odds with the more particular objectives of the tradition itself.”

Big Questions Online invites leading thinkers to write on questions of human purpose and ultimate reality and, in turn, invites readers to join in the discussion with authors by responding to these essays online. Share your thoughts by visiting Big Questions Online.

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