How do I Look?
Theology in the Age of the Selfie
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We live in the age of the retouchable selfie. For those navigating the world of social media, the issue of how one presents oneself to the world has never been more critical. Psychological studies have shown the high impact of this selfie culture on the mental health of young people especially. How might the long tradition of the Christian gaze, found in scripture, art, theology and philosophy speak into this selfie generation? What, in this context, might be the significance of the doctrine of humankind's creation in God's image, or of the incarnation? On a more practical level, how might the monastic tradition of the 'chaste gaze' challenge or reinforce the selfie-culture?
Putting such theological and ethical questions into dialogue with psychological studies and philosophical understandings, Dominic White offers an important pastoral and scholarly resource for anyone seeking to understand theologically one of the most profound developments of the digital age.
1. How Do I Look? The Crisis of the Gaze 1
2. Seeing and (Not) Being Seen: Philosophies and Psychologies of the Gaze 12
3. Different Gazes: Four Works of Art 29
4. The Face of God and the Gaze of Jesus 45
5. Gazes of the Early Church 68
6. The Icon: Seeing God, Seeing Our Neighbour 80
7. Erotic Gaze, Celibate Gaze: Theotic Gaze 101
8. The Tribe of the Seers 117
Postscript: The Gaze After Covid-19 131
Index of Names and Subjects 149
"Confronting both the permanent spectacle of our times and the temporary need for the mask, Dominic White argues that we need to recover our sense of the iconic and the theophanic. He offers not sterile critique of our modern obsession with appearance and display, but a serious consideration of how this might be transfigured." -- Catherine Pickstock
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