Virtual Reality is the Future of Religion

Dali_Crucifixion_hypercubeRev. Dr. Christopher Benek via H+mag:

25 years ago most people didn’t imagine that the Internet would reshape the way that they existed on a day-to-day basis. 25 years from now people will think about Virtual Reality the same way we think about the Internet today – we won’t even be able to imagine our global existence without it.

One of the largest beneficiaries of this technological development could be the global church because VR is going to change the way that Christians participate in worship.

The main impact that VR is going to have on the global church is that it is going to, one-day, enable Christians to easily gather from a variety of places without being in the same physical location.   This will enable persons who are homebound, sick, caregivers, without transportation, on vacation, or severely disabled to participate in worship with the larger community of faith without needing to leave the place where they are physically residing.

Eventually, VR technology will allow these participants to feel fully immersed as if they are actually physically present. It will also allow them to participate virtually in ways that they may not be able to in their present reality. No longer will one’s lack of physical ability be a deterrent that keeps people from ushering or serving communion. Folks will be able to perform these tasks from afar. Congregants who participate via VR will tithe and partake in the sacraments digitally. Of course this means that, particularly with regard to the sacraments, many ecclesiastical traditions will need to do the theological work of reimagining how modern developments in science and technology inform our understanding of sacramentality with regard to particulate matter.

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