Electric Lights Cast Long Shadows: Seeking the Greater Good in a World of Competing Clarities
John Staudenmaier, S.J. is the author of Technology's Story Tellers: Reweaving the Human Fabric (MIT Press 1985) and editor of the half-century old journal Technology and Culture, the International Quarterly of the Society for the History of Technology. His lecture, which is divided into two parts, begins with a brief interrogation of the technology of electric lighting systems, which he views as both the expression and the "technological fulfillment" of modern western society's "deep seated longing to escape" the uncertainties of night. The second part of his lecture, Staudenmaier turns to the 16th century manual of mystical power, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, as a resource for reviving this lost capacity of listening to the "holy dark."