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How does our fascination with technology intersect with the religious imagination? In TechGnosis—a cult classic of media studies, now back in print—Erik Davis argues that while the realms of the digital and the spiritual may seem firmly disengaged, mystical and esoteric impulses have in fact always permeated (and sometimes inspired) technological communication. A pioneer in scholarly discussions of the occult side of technology, Erik Davis has been called “the father of network mysticism” by Dazed Digital and compared to Marshall McLuhan by Howard Rheingold. TechGnosis opens with a discussion of two technologies that are foundations of modern digital communication: the technology of writing (and its connections to the hermetic tradition) and the technology of electricity (which is deeply infused with mystical and alchemical ideas). Davis proceeds to draw connections between such seemingly disparate things as online roleplaying games and religious and occult practices; virtual reality and ancient gnostic mythology; programming languages and channelled texts. The final chapters address both apocalyptic and utopian dreams of the future of technology, providing historical context as well as new models for how to think and feel our way through an amazing, confusing, and disturbing time. This new edition features a foreword by Eugene Thacker as well as a new afterword reflecting on surveillance; the current tech bubble; the growth of superheroes, horror, and other “uncanny cultures” online; the growing backlash against technology; and the need to revitalize the cosmic imagination.

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