Restoring a Rhythm of Sacred Rest in a 24/7 World: An Exploration of Technology Sabbath and Connection to the Earth Community

By Lisa Naas Cook.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 29, 2015 Free Download

The practice of intentional unplugging from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), often called a technology Sabbath, appears to be a growing trend discussed in the popular press. The relationship between technology Sabbath and feelings of connection to people and the Earth is explored through two modes of inquiry: (1) a one-month phenomenological study of ten individuals’ weekly, 24-hour technology Sabbath experiences recorded in journals and interviews and (2) a review of biological, social science, and theological perspectives on a rhythm of rest. Study results suggest participants generally experience intentional unplugging as a pause for reflection on technology’s role and value in their lives. Results are mixed as to how people experience feelings of connection to other people and the Earth during technology Sabbath time. Review of biological and social science literature reveals that 24-7 connectivity can disrupt the rest humans need. Theologians Richard H. Lowery, Arthur Waskow, and Norman Wirzba make the case that Sabbath spirituality—through the experience of delight and gratitude for an abundant creation, liberation from human productivity and control of the Earth, and reflective time—offers wisdom for restoring a rhythm of rest necessary for both personal and planetary well-being

Keywords: Lifeworld Practices, Sustainability

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.17-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 29, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 323.489KB)).

Lisa Naas Cook

Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Oregon, Hood River, Oregon, USA

Lisa Naas Cook has a M.A. in Applied Theology from Marylhurst University with an emphasis on the universal wisdom that the Jewish Sabbath offers for personal and planetary well-being in the modern world. As part of her graduate work, Lisa studied and analyzed the experiences of individuals who practiced weekly technology Sabbaths. Drawing from her background in environmental science, social science, and theology, she leads sacred rest, technology Sabbath, and Universe Story workshops in Hood River, Oregon where she lives with her husband and two children. Lisa is committed to helping people explore their innate connection to the Earth as a source of healing and creativity for sustainable living.