Jerry Johnston Interview Jonathan Lanman Regarding Virtual Reality in Religion23 June 2017
Bloomberg Businessweek asked Apple CEO Tim Cook, “You’ve talked a lot about augmented reality at the heart of the company’s future. How do you see AR moving forward?” Cook replied, “I think it is profound. I am so excited about it, I just want to yell out and scream. The first step in making it a mainstream kind of experience is to put it in the operating system. We’re building it into iOS 11, opening it to developers – and unleashing the creativity of millions of people. Even we can’t predict what’s going to come out.” (June 19, 2017, p. 54)
Very soon virtual reality headsets will be a common possession and extraordinary experience! No one can quite calculate the impact VR is going to have on society and religion. So, Cristie Jo Johnston and I traveled to Belfast, Ireland to film with Jonathan Lanman, Assistant Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University. His work on atheism and secularization aims to provide an account of why some individuals become theists and others become non-theists, why some nations have much higher proportions of non-theists than others, and why some non-theists engage in anti-religious social action. Lanman is one of the four principal researchers in the John Templeton Foundation project, “Understanding Unbelief.” We a most interesting, thought-provoking conversation in our nearly two-hour filmed interview.