Philosophy Professor Stephen Asma awarded three-year grant from the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Henry Luce Foundation
Philosophy professor and Founding Fellow of the Research Group in Mind, Science, and Culture Stephen Asma recently won a three-year grant from the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Henry Luce Foundation to study how continuous use of the internet and online engagement can influence friendship. In his work, Asma will hope to understand if online use can form and sustain lasting friendships, if new types of friendships can be produced through the internet, and if people actually feel isolated through online interaction.
The Institute of Buddhist Studies’ Public Theologies of Technology and Presence program, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, works to gather a cohort of religious scholars to address the present concerns of human life. Specifically, the grant’s aim is to invite scholars to explore how recent technological advancements reshape the foundation of human relationships. The three-year program launched in 2018.
Asma’s project “looks to correlate the latest tech trends in online social interaction (e.g., merged reality, AR, etc.) with the needs and demands of friendship, and by extension the needs of the good life.” Asma’s findings will be organized into a scholarly work that will be widely distributed and available.