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Cybertheology: Thinking Christianity in the Era of the Internet

Cybertheology: Thinking Christianity in the Era of the Internet

Translated by Maria Way
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Cybertheology: Thinking Christianity in the Era of the Internet
    Book Description:

    This book, written by Antonio Spadaro, S.J., the Editor of La Civilta Cattolica, has been translated by Maria Way, who specializes in topics relating to media and religion. The author suggests that since the Internet has changed, and is changing, the ways in which we think and act, it must also be changing the ways in which we think Christianity and its theology. To develop this theme, he uses the term 'Cybertheology'. Through the theoretical works of a variety of authors, e.g., Marshall McLuhan, Peter Levy and Teilhard de Chardin, he associates the concepts of theology with theories that have been expounded on the internet. His sources come from media studies and anthropology, as well as theology. Spadaro also considers the hacker ethic in relation to Cybertheology. How has the internet changed our notion of theology? Has the internet had similar effects on the thinking of Christianity that were experienced after the development of other media technologies? The book aims to clarify just how thinking has changed or remained the same in an era which is often seen as one in which the media's changes have speeded up. It considers both the positives and negatives that may be associated with the internet in relation to Christianity and its theology.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-5701-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xvi)
  4. CHAPTER 1 The Internet: Between Theology and Technology
    (pp. 1-18)

    Some eighty years after the first commercial use of steam locomotives, Thomas Hardy’s novelJude the Obscure(1895) was published. In those pages, Sue Bridehead rebuffs Jude’s suggestion that they sit together in the cathedral: “Cathedral? Yes. Though I think I’d rather sit in the railway station. . . . That’s the centre of the town life now.” In this exchange, the station is not anonspace, a place of speedy transit; it becomes the center of connections in the heart of the city. The station has become an environment that is also symbolic and not just a simple depot...

  5. CHAPTER 2 The Human Being: Decoder and Search Engine for God
    (pp. 19-28)

    Walk through any major city and you will see numerous people with earphones (AKA earbuds). It hasn’t been that long since we had become accustomed to seeing adolescents and young people with Walkman devices in their hands or bags. Today the iPod and other digital music players have taken its place, making it possible for people to listen to music anywhere, even while exercising. One might ask, and rightly so, if this convenience might not also contribute to one’s losing touch with ordinary reality, and whether it causes an acoustic isolation that impedes those simple and banal occasions for dialogue...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Mystical and Connective Body
    (pp. 29-50)

    The Internet connects people. Online, however, everyone can create his or her own fictitious and simulated identity, begging the question how much faith can we put in online identities and relationships? What are the risks? On the Web, everyone can fool others into believing that he/she is someone else with regard to his or her age, gender, or profession. On the Web, you can become the message. In short, you converse as what or who you feel you are, and for no other reason than to express yourself.

    It is for this reason that, potentially, the Web imparts confidence, because...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Hacker Ethics and Christian Vision
    (pp. 51-70)

    The termhackeris part of our everyday vocabulary. Newspaper and television reports as well as films and novels have used the term in the context of code, security breaches, and the theft of personal information among other things. In the case of WikiLeaks, its founder, Julian Paul Assange, was described variously as a hacker who was attacking the world and an arsonist Web hacker, in the Italian press. In general, however, the place with which the termhackercommonly is associated is with experts who have managed to attack protected websites and informatics criminals. Who Are the Hackers? While...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Liturgy, Sacraments, and Virtual Presence
    (pp. 71-92)

    At the beginning of the 1970s, the great mass media scholar Marshall McLuhan and his son Eric hypothesized on the destiny of religion in the West under the influence of the electronic media (McLuhan 1999, ch. 7; see also Baragli 1974, 195–210). Today, this question seems to gain in significance thanks to the capillary diffusion of the digital media and of the technologies of the Web. Are the Internet and the digital media perhaps changing the way we live and understand the liturgy? Is it possible to imagine a form of liturgy and the sacraments on the Web? The...

  9. CHAPTER 6 The Technological Tasks of Collective Intelligence
    (pp. 93-106)

    Today, more than ever before, the spread of digital technologies permits people to remain connected, that is, to have the possibility of opening with ease, immediacy, and at accessible costs (if not for free) channels of communication that are able to break down geographical and economic barriers and bridge distances. It used to be that we would open and then close a connection when, for example, sending a letter, making a telephone call, or sending a fax; the expansion of the web of digital transmissions, however, makes it possible for people to be virtually always discoverable, that is open to...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 107-118)
  11. Works Cited
    (pp. 119-134)
  12. Index
    (pp. 135-138)