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Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media Paperback – November 9, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


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

A very helpful guide to a very important but difficult issue: How do Catholics relate to the media explosion? Eugene Gan offers a thoughtful and constructive analysis, which is sure to illuminate and guide.

Dr. Scott Hahn,Author, Speaker, and Professor of Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Some things take experience. Some things take a dad. And other things take a university professor. And some things must take all three. Eugene Gan has drawn on his experience as a user and creator of all sorts of media, his concerns as a father, and his understanding of the way college students live with their ever-present electronics to create a book that answers questions (and worries) that many Catholics may have had in the back of their minds for a long time.

I am delighted with what Eugene Gan has done to make the Church's tradition of teaching on the media not just accessible but practical. (If! weren't using my thumbs to type this, I would definitely give "Infinite Bandwidth" two thumbs up.) His book will be especially helpful to Catholics who (like the Church herself) recognize that the culture we live in is formed in great part by the use of communications technologies. Unplugging across the board is not an option the Church recommends. The Church is not afraid of media! She sees them as "marvels" the Lord has put in our hands.

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.

I commend Eugene Gan highly for a well-crafted work that am going to refer to often and recommend broadly.

Gratefully in St. Paul,

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 II¹s comparison of today¹s 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

Engaging and thoughtful as all media should be, Dr. Gan practices what he preaches in his book Infinite Bandwidth. He skillfully summarizes over seventy years of Catholic teaching on the marvels and menace of media and offers an engaging reflection as well as a helpful approach to media use for parents and teachers alike. If you are looking for a Catholic guide in this age of shifting values and the proliferation of the communication tools, Infinite Bandwidth is a tremendous resource.

Father Robert P. Reed,President, The CatholicTV® Network

--Father Robert P. Reed,President, The CatholicTV® Network

Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media by Dr. Eugene Gan is a great gift to the Church as we experience a surge of media and social communication. Dr. Gan masterfully pulls together the many Church documents and statements on media through the years. From these documents, Eugene gives us seven media keys to help people properly critique all forms of media. He uses the same keys in helping those who produce media to evaluate what they are creating and how it can best serve the mission of the Church in today's world. Dr. Gan makes it clear that people must not run in fear from the latest technologies and new forms of media, but embrace them with a critical eye and use them well for proclaiming the truth and beauty of our Catholic faith in a more credible manner. Dr. Gan demonstrates the necessary tools to view media with a Catholic mind and heart. His book will change the way you view your next movie, listen to that new song, what games you play on your computer and the apps in your iPhone. If all people of faith follow the seven keys presented by Eugene Gan, they will consume media and media will not consume them.

Father Jay Finelli,the iPadre Catholic Podcast & Videocast

--Father Jay Finelli, the iPadre Catholic Podcast & Videocast

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Emmaus Road Publishing (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931018677
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931018678
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a 21 year old guy and I just finished "Infinite Bandwidth" a couple days ago. I am so grateful a book like this exists!

Gan has written a book that is simple, concise, and yet deeply insightful. To my knowledge there is no book quite like this one yet. Gan has skillfully tackled the timeless issues our ever-advancing age of media technology has made all the more relevant. I have read quite a few things on media, its powerful benefits and its potential dangers, but never was I made so aware of the wealth of Church documents on the matter. I didn't realize that the Church had THIS much to say about new media technologies... Gan pulls from some very specific quotes from documents by John Paul II or the Pontifical Council that are extremely relevant and helpful.

Essentially what I think he has done is studied and condensed the Church's wisdom on social media into one concise, practical manual. And when I say manual, I don't mean this is a list of "Do"s and "Don't"s. What I love most about this book is how balanced it is in its approach of the media. Which is not surprising, because it pulls mostly from the Church's wisdom. This book is not boring at all. Gan makes the Church's timeless wisdom very accessible to the average reader, using concrete examples of movies or video games in every chapter. To help the reader remember what to keep in mind when creating or consuming media, Gan condenses the Church's wisdom into "Seven Media Keys," devoting a chapter to each one.
1. Balance. 2. Attitude 3. Person 4. Truth-filled 5. Inspires 6. Skillfully Made 7. Motivated by and Relevant to Experience

These Seven Media Keys hopefully will become the basis for future discussions by Catholic authors on social media in the 21st century. Although...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the (good) problems about the Church is that she has a lot to say about a lot of things. This is good because the Church is concerned with many things and brings to bear the Gospel message on all facets of human life. It is a problem because wading through all the writings on a single topic -- and walking away with a systematic understanding of that topic -- can be time consuming and overwhelming, even for those of us used to reading ecclesial language.

Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media does the work for you by condensing and systematizing the Church's teaching on social communications. In doing so Dr. Eugene Gan provides an invaluable resource for those of us engaged in and interested in new technologies and their impact on the work of the Church.

Dr. Gan has pulled from nearly 100 years worth of Church teaching on media seven general principles for how Catholic are called to enjoy, produce, and interpret media messages. Each chapter follow a general pattern:

1. A basic overview of the principle in question;
2. concrete examples for how the principal is used or ignored;
3. reflections on why the principal matters;
4. and a section on applying the principle in real life.

For instance, in in the chapter explaining the Church's teaching that media should be truthful, Dr. Gan starts with an objective truth; reflects on the truth contained in Schindler's List, contrasting it with the false impression and fabrications often encountered in the online world; notes how the media uses stories to influence our understanding of truth; and ends with some practical ideas and reflection questions.

Thankfully, Dr. Gan avoids a strident parochialism in his book.
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Format: Paperback
Once you discover the seven media keys in this book, you'll never approach media the same way again. I know it sounds like a sales pitch -- it is! This book is essential for anyone who uses or makes media (aka, everyone!).

I can't overestimate the value in the seven media keys Gan proposes. They are the answer to serious moral issues we encounter in the realm of today's ever-changing media landscape. I've heard teachers bemoan the fact that today's teachers and members of the administration don't know how to respond to a generation that has grown up with texting and near constant Internet access. This book presents foundational principles that should guide communications in any age, and can help one engage others in discussion about how particular forms of media can best be used to promote and defend the dignity of the human person.

Infinite Bandwidth is an especially excellent resource for Catholic parents, youth group leaders, study groups, or any individual looking for a balanced approach to using today's media (everything from Facebook to movies to video games to cell phones). It makes a great gift for college-bound students, especially those seeking careers in any media-related field.
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In our culture today, especially in the United States we often are described as a culture that is "controlled by the media". Many people have a lot of different opinions about media and how we are to appropriately use it. Some say it's fine, some may say it's evil. Experts including countless psychologists and sociologists tell us (through study after study) why it's bad for us and for our families and for our children. Dr. Gan explains to us the Catholic Church's view on media and how the Church in Her wisdom offers us teaching in regards to media and how we are to use it. Contrary to popular belief, The Catholic Church is not against technologies and communications. The Church is concerned with and excited about the media just as much as the rest of us are and the Church offers us help on how to use media to make life better for all of us.

Anyone who struggles with spending too much time using pointless media, watching too much TV, or spending too much time online, needs to read this book! Likewise any parent who wants to raise a family in a loving atmosphere with a healthy use of media in their home should read this as well. It will help you to recognize the goodness and usefulness of media all while helping you to be smart about the media around us and the media you consume.
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