Religious Studies Faculty Publications



Document Type

Encyclopedia Entry

Publication Date


Publication Source

Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics


Technology takes many shapes. Things such as water heaters, cell phones, intercontinental ballistic missiles, high-defin ition television, and hybrid cars belong to the large family called "technological artifacts." In addition to artifacts, technology includes infrastructure (e.g., roadways, water and sewage lines, fiber-optic phone lines, Wi-Fi transponders) -- systems of technologies that enable the artifacts to function while the system itself remains, for the most part, out of sight and under the moral radar. Further, technology connotes a certain form of life, one not simply auxiliary to the existing social structure but also contributing to its very form (hence, the phrase "technological age"). Finally, technology also includes a particular mode of productive reasoning that vies for cultural dominance over both practical and theoretical reasoning. The moral challenges surrounding technology are exacerbated by the fact that new technologies are appearing at an exponential rate, threatening to outstrip the pace at which Christians can evaluate them . Further, Christians find little explicit treatment of technology in the Bible. Consequently, Christian moral reflection on technology requires examining the moral qualities of particular technologies in detail , describing the most germane biblical resources, and learning to distinguish Christian moral reasoning itself from the kind of reasoning that technocentrism engenders.

Inclusive pages




Document Version

Published Version


Hatch, Derek C., and Kallenberg, Brad J. "Technology." Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, ed. Joel Green, Jacqueline Lapsley, Rebekah Miles and Allen Verhey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2011. Entry is made available in the repository with the publisher's permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.

Permission documentation is on file.


Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing

Place of Publication

Grand Rapids, MI