Summer 1971

Page 27

Cm·l J. A·rmb?'u.ster, S.J.

Ministry in Future Shock.

A theology of adaptation of the priests' ndnistnJ ls not only desirable but necessary

FutU?·e Shock, a book by Alvin Toffier (New York: Random House, 1970), is a bestseller. His thesis, which he illustrates by an incredible range of examples, is that the most significant characteristic of our technological society is not so much the fact of change, but rather the unpamlleled acceleration of the •·ate of change. The counterpart of acceleration is transcience, the physical and psychological phenomenon that technology creates by its bewildering stream of innovations and seemingly endless possibilities of choice. To cite some homely examples, transciency is symbolized by the throw-away bottle, by the mobile home, by the high rate of job turnover, by the swift creation and dissolution of ad-hoc organizations, and by the rapid flowthrough of images and knowledge embodied in the paperback. The impact of acceleration and transcience upon the individual 139