Events In Extropia

Sophrosyne’s Saturday Salon: Religion, Spirituality and the Avatar

Next week’s Salon kicks off a cycle of several months of absolutely fascinating guests.  On Saturday, March 15, from 1-3pm at the Central Nexus in Extropia Core, our Salon Spotlight Guest will be Soren Ferlinghetti (Robert M Geraci).

Robert M. Geraci is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in New York City
. He studies the interactions of religion, science and technology with particular emphasis upon robotics, artificial intelligence and (more recently) online gaming. he has conducted fieldwork at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and in Second Life through discussions and interviews. In addition to publishing a number of essays on religion and robotics, he has just finished a book on the subject (tentatively titled _Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality_) and is planning a new book about religion and online games.

Soren and I have spoken occasionally over many months about spirituality and identity in the digital world.  We have profoundly different perspectives, and attitudes towards technology in general, but I’ve always found him curious, open-minded, warm-hearted and fascinating.

Soren’s work was recently covered in New World Notes:

The Soul Of Second Life: In SL Spirituality Survey, 48% Open To Mind Upload, 62% To New SL-Based Religions

Thanks to Hamlet Au, we not only got Soren’s remarkable conclusions (more people go to church in SL than have sex, what?!), but the raw data supporting them.

At the Salon we’ll discuss Soren’s research, the interplay between spirituality and identity in the digital world, the evolution of religion, and many more fascinating topics sparked by his work.  This one’s a must-see!

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March 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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