Promise or Peril? Progressive Evangelicals, Technology, and Social Justice in the 1970s

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Raising questions related to technology often raises ire on multiple fronts. Some think all technology is neutral. Others lean strongly toward purely positive or purely negative assessments. Yet many neglect the way that analyzing technology connects with other beliefs and commitments. This article seeks to ameliorate this issue and better prepare thinkers to recognize their own web of thinking by exploring progressive evangelical approaches to technology in the 1970s. This historical exploration highlights some key features of the ethics of technology that continue to impact the way Christians ask and answer these questions today, whether that is related to biomedical issues, military technology, or entertainment technology.

Keywords: evangelicalism, progressive evangelicalism, technology, social justice, technicism

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Cite as: Jacob Shatzer, “Promise or Peril? Progressive Evangelicals, Technology, and Social Justice in the 1970s,” Ethics & Medicine 37, no. 1 (2021): 18–27.

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About the Author

Jacob Shatzer, PhD
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Jacob Shatzer, PhD, is assistant provost, associate professor of theological studies, and associate dean at Union University in Jackson, TN. He also serves as associate professor of ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. He lives with his wife and four children in Jackson, TN.

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