On Faith and the Mass Media

20 02 2009


A Reply to Daniel Mitsui

I find Daniel Mitsui in general to be an insightful man, though I don’t always agree with him. He is one of the few people that I have encountered who has a similiar view of the Church and modernity as I have, though we differ starkly on some very key issues. In this light, here is a reply I sent privately to Mr. Mitsui to one of his latest posts, The Eucharist and the Mass Media :

I just read your essay on the Eucharist and the mass media, and as you suggested, I will tell you my thoughts about it. Truth be told, I didn’t feel particularly affected by it since I have never been prone to thinking that pixels are the real thing, nor have I ever mistaken a multi-media experience for a “spiritual” one. I don’t listen to Gregorian chant on a CD or an MP3 player, I have never watched a televised Mass with the idea that I was “participating” in it, nor do I think that mass media is especially healthy for religion. As I wrote in my last post, I think the media was largely responsible for the last Pope being able to “rule” (not necessarily govern) the Church by photo-op, and the fact that the mass outpouring of “devotion” after his death has subsided quite a bit (the euphoria of “santo subito!”) demonstrates that religious mass media is just as fleeting as any other kind.
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Morton Feldman : The Rothko Chapel

20 02 2009

The last part of the piece