As a writer, the history of writing is something on my mind a lot since it was part of my university education, and I just got to say that the idea of having a sacred ‘book’ for a religion now strikes me as really an odd thing sometimes, yet, of course, normal as we have it. I know it’s not odd to everyone I know nor was it to me because it is a normal thing to us who are born and raised with it, but just imagine for a minute a few generations from now, the society has a sacred computer with sacred writings. It’s bound to happen. What will emerge from the billions of written texts and tweets? Will the next generation tweet the bible? Who will make the decisions?
It’s about the same thing with the history of the book and writing tools. Writing was honored as a new invention with writing tools and newly created paper, leaving stone behind, in the same way we moved to chemical film processes to digital now. There was Awe and with it came the idea it was a gift from God. Some of us don’t see the computer as a gift from god but as invention from man. And then imagine sacred writing says God is the digital and the digital is God as the bible says God is the Word and the Word is God when the Word was literally a new invention. I can just imagine those elderly illiterates scoffing and saying, yeah, right. LOL. God isn’t a book and words. God is the sun, the moon and stars with no word and language – might have been the argument from the ancients.
Still technology trumps what is ancient, destroys it and moves on OR holds on to it as sacred. Imagine God tweets to come! Few people understand how religion moved from non-literate to literate religion, the changes and the development….and it’s not over. The bible has always been updated along with the technologies and social values and language changes. That’s why the strict fundamentalist view that it’s unchanged and is God’s word alone untouched by humans in any way is not only inaccurate but actually a reaction to the actual development and history of the social evolution of the Bible and writing in general and a resistant to some of the changes. There’s always been rejection and conflicts amongst different groups about the whole mixing religion and writing – and some nasty wars. Native americans had no book for their religion so they didn’t have wars over it. Everyone must have known their relationship to God in another way. Beyond a book. Maybe removing technologies can still do that. The next generation will not know an experience non-digital, they will only be taught from some historian what the world was like when the book was sacred.