When the first radio and television broadcasts began to reach homes throughout

When the first radio and television broadcasts began to reach homes around the world, religious programming was among the mainstays of both new mediums. Now, as the world shifts away from flat, two-dimensional displays and frequency-bound audio broadcasts, religious practitioners from around the world are beginning to embrace metaverse technologies, Web 3, spatial computing, and artificial intelligence as channels of faith.

However, there are still opponents who believe there are risks associated with these technologies, religious leaders who question whether modern technological trappings are necessary, and billions of followers of traditional religions waiting for guidance.

On the supportive side, Srivas Sahasranmam, a professor at the University of Glasgow, recently explained the positive potential for conversion for practitioners of the Hindu faith in the journal Swarajya:

“Imagine you get jeetopadesha directly from Lord Krishna. No, I’m not talking about being on a sci-fi time machine taking me back in time to the Kurukshetra War. Instead, I’m talking about being in my living room, dressing up as Arjuna, seeking answers to my inner battles through the Geetopadesha of Lord Krishna’s avatar on a Ray-Ban Meta glass.

Many see the immersive qualities of conversion, especially when experienced through virtual reality, as a way to bring them closer to the scriptures and stories surrounding their religions.

Sahasranamam has also written about using the metaverse as an adjunct to meditation, saying that the immersion it offers can lead to deeper, more beneficial experiences.

Not everyone is thrilled that the metaverse can be used as a religious tool. Gavin Ortlund and Jae Kim, Christian theologians and pastors from the United States, see this as something that could add to the existing fellowship model, but both men seem to agree that it is not a replacement for physical churches.

The two discussed the issue in a recent video. During the talk, Kim wondered aloud whether the idea of ​​“church in a transformed world” was just an oxymoron.

The duo’s main objection seems to be the digital/virtual nature of the metaverse. Per Ortlund:

“So, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, they are physical acts, and the church is irreducibly physical, you know, you need physical bodies for the church because there have to be people going into the water or eating the bread and wine. This is just one example of where something gets lost if you shy away from face-to-face physical contact.

In Rome, the Catholic Church has a completely different view. It’s embracing some metaverse technologies, having dabbled in Web3, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse over the past couple of years, but Pope Francis, its current leader, isn’t a fan of all the future-facing technologies.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, the Pope had some choice words regarding the beginning of the age of artificial intelligence:

“There is a significant risk of disproportionate benefits for the few at the expense of impoverishment for the many.”

His ultimate prescription is to call for the development of a strong moral and legislative bulwark against the existential and pernicious harms posed by AI, although he recognizes the benefits of the technology when used responsibly.

Related: Islam and Cryptocurrencies: How digital assets can comply with Islamic financial law

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