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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Human Forever: The Digital Politics of Spiritual War

Human Forever book cover

Event Details

Thursday, March 31, 2022
5:30 PM PST

Payson Library
Surfboard Room
Pepperdine University
Malibu, CA

For more information about this event, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu, or call 310.506.7490.

The printing press. Television. The Internet. Each of these revolutions in how we communicate has had religious implications with the power over information being at once diffused and concentrated. In his fascinating and forthcoming new book, Human Forever: The Digital Politics of Spiritual War, James Poulos, assesses the unique challenges posed by digital technology to how we perceive ourselves and the world around us—including the spiritual world. 

Digital technology has dominated the material world in a way beyond what any person or persons can achieve. Under the previously dominant medium of television, technology enhanced the power and authority of human imagination to the point that those who dreamed biggest and best were considered the world’s rightful rulers. 

Today’s innumerable, invisible, instantaneously interoperable information entities also seem to have dominated the spiritual world in a new way. A decade ago, the only entities capable of behaving as our digital ones do were spiritual: angels and demons. 

The material and spiritual dominance of digital technology has a new and profound formative influence on our inner and outer lives. Life under the sway of the digital medium reshapes us to retrieve the understanding that reality is ultimately and fundamentally theological.

The implications are sweeping. All aspects of our political and cultural life have already been altered decisively and irrevocably by the triumph of the digital medium. Only an understanding of that medium, and how we can use it to preserve our human identity and our ways of life, will make sense of the stakes and strategies driving today’s domestic and international struggles to reorder human societies.

Reception immediately following.

Note to SPP students: This event is 1.5 Professional Development credits.

About the Speaker

James Poulos

James Poulos creates and advises brands and enterprises at the intersection of technology, media, and design. He is the cofounder and executive editor of the American Mind at the Claremont Institute and the cofounder and publisher of RETURN at New Founding.

He is the author of the Art of Being Free and his work has appeared in the Claremont Review of Books, Le Figaro, National Affairs, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among many other publications.

He holds a PhD in government from Georgetown University and a BA in political science from Duke University. A fellow at the Center for the Study of Digital Life, he was previously the communications director at the Heraion Foundation, a veterans-run rescue and recovery nonprofit operating in failed and fragile states.

He lives on the edge of Los Angeles.


James Poulos will have his book, Human Forever, available for purchase after the event. The cost of the book is $30.00 USD. Only checks or exact cash will be accepted.