Wow this is a really fascinating article!
For the past couple of years, I have been thinking more deeply about what theologically can be called deep incarnation. This is the idea that God, in taking on human flesh, takes on not only human beings but everything created. One snappy way of thinking about this is that human beings contain stardust, a quarter of our genetic material is shared with trees, and we are hosts to a gazillion microbes. So when God becomes human, that must also mean that God becomes stardust and the genetic material of trees and microbes. God is not only human flesh like me or you but embraces all created reality from the stardust to the microbes. I have found that really earthshaking.
I also liked how quickly she affirmed that digital is still embodied:
Is virtual worship still embodied? Yes, of course it is. Although some may argue that worship in digital spaces or digitally mediated liturgical practices are bad because they are disembodied, I think that’s too glib an argument. In fact, none of us can enter a digital social space without bodies. To be in a digital conversation with you right now, I need my eyes. I need my fingers to log in to Zoom, the space in which we’ve chosen to meet. There is no digital worship without bodies being present and involved.
I think a lot of digital interfaces right now are highly constrained–and for good reason, they are being stretched to serve purposes outside of their original design. The ideas around spatial software might point us in the direction of creating experiences that let people have more “virtual embodiment” in a digital space.
But in light of what she said about bodies are present on Zoom, I wonder if the good old Xbox Kinect-style interfaces are another aspect of embodiment that we’re missing–the way we can use our bodies to interact in a digital space, not just with touching a screen or pointing and clicking…