Podcast: Christine Rosen on Thinking Religiously about Facebook

A global presence that hovers above the world declaring that it desires nothing but to connect us with each other, Facebook now invites serious religious questions.

NurPhoto/Getty.

NurPhoto/Getty.

Observation
Nov. 14 2019
About the authors

A weekly podcast, produced in partnership with the Tikvah Fund, offering up the best thinking on Jewish thought and culture.

Christine Rosen is the managing editor of the Weekly Standard and the author of Preaching Eugenics (Oxford) and My Fundamentalist Education (Public Affairs). Her column, “Social Commentary,” appears every month in Commentary.


This Week’s Guest: Christine Rosen

 

Facebook is now a central fact of world politics, commerce, and affairs. With more than 2.3 billion users worldwide, it has more “adherents” than there are Christians or Muslims, not to mention Jews. Industry analysts project that by next year, more marketing dollars will be spent on Facebook alone than on the entire TV ad market.

It is, in sum, a global presence that hovers above the world declaring that it desires nothing but to connect us with each other, to convene community. For that reason alone, its understanding of itself, its understanding of us, and its understanding of human nature invite serious religious questions: how should a religious person think about Facebook; how can we think about Facebook through a religious lens?

It’s those questions Christine Rosen tackles in this episode of the Tikvah Podcast. A senior writer at Commentary and the author of a forthcoming book about technology and social media, she joins Tikvah’s Jonathan Silver to help us think about how religious communities relate—and should relate—to one of the most powerful and ubiquitous social realities of our time.

Courtesy of Pro Musica Hebraica, musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim, and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Background

 

Every Thursday, the Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic will bring to your car/earbuds/home stereo/Alexa the latest in our efforts to advance Jewish thought. For more on the new podcast, check out our inaugural post here.

If you have thoughts about the podcast that you’d like to share, ideas for future guests and topics, or any other form of feedback, just send us an email at editors@mosaicmagazine.com. We’re grateful for your support, and we look forward to a new year of great conversations on Jewish essays and ideas.

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More about: Facebook, Politics & Current Affairs, Social media, Technology