Franciscan University of Steubenville Professor Eugene Gan authors this first-of-its-kind Catholic roadmap for the digital age: Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media. He navigates you faithfully through the digital world, encouraging frustrated parents not to throw out cell phones, ban the Internet, chuck computers, or pitch portable media devices. That would be a mistake and—believe it or not—would be going against more than seven decades of Catholic teaching. From Church documents on social communications, Gan extracts seven principles or “media keys” of how to approach and use media. The Church—and Gan—say that we must enter into the modern day “Areopagus,” the social and intellectual hub of ancient Athens where Paul preached to pagans, and use the media tools God has given us to make truth known and serve mankind. Cardinal John Patrick Foley says, “Frankly, I wish that such a book had existed when I was president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications as a text which I could have recommended. The important thing, however, is that it exists now to provide a text, context, and challenge for those who wish to bring both Christian principles and professional excellence to their work in the media.”
Gan offers chapter after chapter of real-life experience of how to assess movies, games, and gadgets for you and your teens. Of how to judge the merits of a film like Saving Private Ryan, and what sets it apart from Nightmare on Elm Street. Can the one be acceptable viewing and the other not? Definitely. And Gan details why. Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media is way out front of the newest gizmo—and will stay there—thanks to its timeless principles that can be applied in all digital terrain, now and the future. Parents, educators, and students will put this book down with an entirely different attitude about the relationship between faith and media use.
Dr. Eugene Gan’s Infinite Bandwidth presents the Catholic Church s documents on communications in a most engaging and interesting manner, comprising seven media keys and a fascinating introduction, Googling with God: A Catholic Approach to Media.
Frankly, I wish that such a book had existed when I was president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications as a text which I could have recommended. The important thing, however, is that it exists now to provide a text, context, and challenge for those who wish to bring both Christian principles and professional excellence to their work in the media.
In an increasingly secularized environment, in which religion is no longer featured in the general media except in a sensational manner and in which it is so often forced to live in a ghetto, Dr. Gan offers a challenging vision of how, why, and when to use all media in an imaginative, challenging, and faith-filled way.
—John Patrick Cardinal Foley, Grand Master, Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; President Emeritus, Pontifical Council for Social Communications
Gan provides the reader with seven keys to healthy Catholic media use. He drew all seven from official Church documents, synthesizing 70 years of official teaching into a practical guide to living as genuinely Christian citizens of the media culture. His self-evaluation questions are totally on target, addressing not just abuse by excess (unrestrained or uncritical media consumption) but also by defect (limiting oneself to the most unchallenging movies, or failing to create positive media content). Best of all, Gan gives the whole presentation a supernatural grounding by connecting each of the “keys” to healthy media use to a specific virtue.
—Sister Anne Joan Flanagan, FSP, Daughters of St. Paul, a.k.a. “nunblogger”
In the exceptionally well-written and researched “The 7 Media Keys (A Catholic Media Guide),” Eugene Gan presents the reader with a comprehensive Catholic framework to consume and critique contemporary media. He skillfully argues that it is critical for Catholics to engage contemporary culture, using Pope John Paul II’s comparison of today’s new media landscape to the Areopagus—the social and intellectual hub of ancient Athens where Paul preached to pagans.
—Dr. Derry Connolly, President of John Paul the Great Catholic University