The Future of Body Theology
Posted by Laura K. Cavanaugh
On Monday, guest poster Matt Cavanaugh brought up a good point about the changing nature of Church and what the future might bring. He said:
Our world is becoming more isolated physically but more social in a digital sense. I anticipate seeing this trend further, where church (and The Church) is becoming more about what is convenient for our busy schedules. I anticipate people’s spending less time in chapels and more at home with virtual socialization.
So, lovely readers, you are the body theology buffs now. What do you think?
On the one hand, we have the passing of the peace that Matthew van Maastricht mentioned in the comments to Monday’s post. We have the seven desires of every heart, one of which is to be physically touched in a safe and non-sexual way. We have the universally accepted healing power of physical touch (ever seen that Vicks Vapo Rub commercial where the mommy is comforting her sick child by rubbing his chest with Vicks?). Then, of course, there’s the laying on of hands we see in scripture and continue to use today as a physical expression of spiritual support, prayer, healing, and blessing.
On the other hand, we have at least 10 merits of digital community.
A more digitized community might make us more conscious of and intentional about the need for physical connection. Or it might numb us to the need for human touch and create disembodied communities full of people disconnected from their own bodies as well as the physicality of the incarnation and the body of Christ.
We might be more inclined to follow the example of the desert mothers and fathers and separate ourselves from society for the purpose of prayer and contemplation. Or we might lose our passion for social justice and creation care and consider them nothing more than the cares of the world that will soon pass away.
What do you think will be the outcome of a more digitized community of God in the future? Will it affect our body theology positively or negatively?