cover image Christian Ethics for a Digital Society

Christian Ethics for a Digital Society

Kate Ott. Rowman & Littlefield, $30 (200p) ISBN 978-1-4422-6737-4

Ott (Sex + Faith), associate professor of Christian social ethics at Drew Theological School, argues cogently that for Christians to practice ethical internet use, they must be digitally literate. For Ott, this means understanding “how data is used, information is created, and predictive analytics are promoted.” Like other religious scholars who study digital communications, Ott uses the biblical story of the Tower of Babel to compare how technology and language intersect to create a false sense of social unity. One of the most radical recent changes, Ott writes, is that computers now push a wide array of information to users when initially they were used as computing and communication tools. She painstakingly explains dangers of computer and digital technology, particularly algorithms that use predictive technology (like Google or Twitter) that may or may not deliver accurate information. She also argues that digital technology has made it easier for an online persona to become an extension of a person (for better or worse). In addition to going over scientific research, Ott implores Christians to use technology in ways that honor God, including practicing forgiveness, being socially responsible, and caring for the environment with their technological choices. Ott’s book will appeal to Christian technology enthusiasts looking to engage in digital communities. (Dec.)