Friday, June 29, 2018

New Book Speaks about the Bible in the Language of Digital Culture

Reaching Young Evangelicals in the Language of Digital Culture
The passionate support of millions of Evangelical Christians in the United States for Israel is valued by the people and government of Israel.   Israelis feel confident in the pro-Israel activities of the growing number of Christian Zionists who are strengthening the political and spiritual bonds between Washington and Jerusalem. 

The Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life found that more than a quarter of Americans identify themselves as Evangelical Protestant Christians.  They form the largest religious group in United States with political clout felt in the White House and Congress.   

A more recent study conducted by LifeWay Research asked “When you think of the modern rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948 and the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people to Israel” 80% say these events were fulfillments of Bible prophecy. 80% agree that God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants was for all time. 76% agree that Christians should support the Jewish people’s right to live in the sovereign state of Israel.           

However, the study raises concerns that the younger generation may not continue the enthusiasm for Israel of their parents and grandparents.  The survey has found that positive perception of the country of Israel are strongest among the age group over 65 and least among millennials.  76% of age 65+ with Evangelical beliefs indicate they have a “Positive” view of Israel today, followed by age 50-64 (69%), age 35-49 (64%), and age 18-35 (58%).
David Nekrutman, executive director of the Center of Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Jerusalem told Michael Freund for his article in The Jerusalem Post “Stop taking Evangelical support for granted” that we should not assume that the children of Christian Zionists are building on the foundation of what their parents learned.

New Book Written in the Language of Digital Culture
There are many fine books written by Christian Zionists that set out the case for Israel based upon the biblical narrative.  I have found, however, that none speak in the language of the ubiquitous digital culture shaped by smartphones and social media.  It is the language that Evangelical millennials understand best.

To address this absence, I wrote my newest book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media being published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.  It creates a dialogue between digital texts and images that teach how biblical insights can transform smartphone photography and social media into imaginative ways for seeing spirituality in everyday life.  It speaks to Jews and Christians who share an abiding love of the Bible by inspiring the creation of a lively dialogue between our emerging life stories and the enduring biblical narrative.
My teaching and writing has explored the vibrant interface between Jewish thought and the postdigital age for decades.  As a professor at Ariel University in Israel, I taught the course “Judaism and Zionism: Roots and Values” and at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, I taught “Art, Technology and Culture.” 

I created the exhibition LightsOROT: Spiritual Dimension of the Electronic Age at MIT for Yeshiva University Museum in 1988.  My artworks exploring biblical imagery and digital technologies have circled the globe via AT&T satellites and are in the collections of forty museums from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. 
I have written many papers on the subject, the most recent being “Postdigital Relationships between Digital and Hebraic Writing” in the Routledge book Digital Writing and Rhetoric (2018) and in my books The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2011) and Dialogic Art in a Digital World in Hebrew (published in Jerusalem, 2008).

Reviews of Through a Bible Lens
I have posted reviews of Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media by Jewish and Christian spiritual leaders and experts on digital culture from five continents.  They describe my book from multiple perspectives that together reveal the essence of its message.  Read them in the blog posts below.

The Times of Israel article

THROUGH A BIBLE LENS explores the Bible, the best selling book in the world, from the viewpoint of life in today's digital era.

Scroll down to see praise for Through a Bible Lens  from Jewish and Christian spiritual leaders and experts in digital culture. In his highl...