The sacrality of things: On the technological augmentation of the sacred

Levi Checketts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mitcham, Borgmann, and others argue the character of technology is at odds with the character of Christian life. This paper challenges that claim in two moves. First, I examine ways Christian theology has been formed by Roman crucifixion, the printing press, and transoceanic navigation; Christology, biblical studies, and missiology are critically dependent upon technologies that facilitated the death of Jesus, the spread of Protestant literature, and the migration of missionaries. Second, I contend that these technologies shed light on a complicated relationship between the realm of the “sacred” and technologies. Technologies can have the character of being sacred or sacramental. As sacred, technologies fall within the purview of religious devotion like relics or icons. As sacramental, they influence the field of theology, through augmentation or restriction. Thus, technologies can be compatible with Christianity and have a positive effect on religion, expanding the fields of theological reflection and religious devotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-152
Number of pages23
JournalTechné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Christianity
  • Crucifixion
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Printing press
  • Transoceanic navigation


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