2nd Annual Surveillance & Religion Lecture, 12 April 2016

Tonight I’m giving this lecture at St Andrews, ‘The Common Gaze: The Common Good and 21st Century Surveilllance.’

It will be streamed live on Periscope (then available for 24 hours) beginning at 5.30pm UK time today. (Follow me on Twitter @es61andrews to get the link for the stream when it’s about to start.)

Here’s a foretaste:

Surveillance is adversely affecting the Common Good. Freedom of expression is chilled. Already-marginalized groups are not viewed sympathetically through misrepresentation in media discourses interwoven with which are surveillance techniques that permit the monitoring of the distanced and problematic Other. Selective, surveillance data then reinforces negative one-dimensional stereotypes.

This lecture considers the chilling effect upon writers, journalists and activists before turning to examine the conjunction of misrepresentation and surveillance directed towards two largely vilified groups: people on welfare and Muslims. We will draw on Roman Catholic Social Teaching to propose a constructive theological appraisal of the Common Gaze, that requires a rotation of 90 degrees in our framing of God’s watching: a turn to surveillance from the Cross….