An IT Approach to Religion


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  • arcseconds

    James McGrath, well-known biblioblogger, is familiar to most through his more traditional, modernist-flavoured work on biblical studies, reposting theologically flavoured cartoons, critique of Jesus mythicist arguments, and squirrel baffles.

    He has, however, shown some tendency towards more post-modern output, with his genre-crossing œuvre on science fiction and religion.

    His latest work represents a bold foray well into the avant-garde. Entitled ‘An IT Approach to Religion’, in the tradition of John Cage’s 4″ 33′ , Tomas Friedman’s ‘1000 Hours of Staring’, or Andy Warhol’s ‘Invisible Sculpture’, McGrath’s latest post has the usual accouterments of a blog post – the title, the site banner, the column with ‘most popular posts’ and recent comments, the advertisements, but is completely devoid of content.

    While saying nothing explicitly, this post encourages us to reflect. Does this demonstrate that there is no relationship between IT and religion? Perhaps we should see it as a commentary on the works of others attempting to draw a link: they are essentially empty, like this post. Or perhaps the point is that the relationship is so profound that it goes beyond language.

    There is also perhaps room to interpret this as a statement about the pratice of blogging itself. It draws our attention to the fact that many blog posts are ‘content free’, this one just explicitly so. In addition, comments frequently deviate rapidly from the topic of the post, and many bloggers put up posts with content which is in some sense ’empty’ in order to encourage open discussion.

    If one is a blogger, is one actually required to post content, or does the act of posting an empty post already qualify as blogging?

    • Wow, not sure what happened to the image. The question now is whether I should restore the picture here, or just delete this post and share another one. Perhaps the former – but with this comment to help make sense of your comment!

      • arcseconds

        I spent 15 whole minutes of my life on that comment!

        It must be immortalized forever.

        The framing would be better if you left this one without content and reposted, of course, but I’ll reluctantly accept content being added as a compromise 🙂

        • It is always great when people can find a compromise! Thank you for not merely drawing the missing image to my attention, but doing so in such a creative (and time-consuming) manner!

          • arcseconds

            Much of it was googling for a blank canvas work. ‘1000 Hours of Staring’ was accomplished in the 90s. I’m pretty sure there were blank canvas artworks before that, but I don’t remember who did them and ‘blank canvas’ comes up with a lot of artist supply sites… anyway, I’m not sorry to be re-acquainted with Friedman’s piece.