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The Internet. What will the Church think up next?

Many people claim to have have invented the internet, or the culture around it (Cyberculture). But the church thought it up first. This is our position and we will stand by it until others bring forth some earlier dates, thus forcing us back to the annuls of history to find another patron saint. This is what we do. Everything is from the devil, until it becomes useful and acceptable, and then we find our innovative heros who were players back when the game was starting. And then we regret burning them. William Tyndale, comes to mind.

The Internet has existed as a concept in people's minds, long before computers and broadband. There have been many attempts to visualize what has already been imagined. History is still adding innovators and poets to its records. One of them is important to us.

noospheredrevilIn 1938, a Jesuit priest named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin spoke of a "sphere of thought" enveloping the earth. He referred to this "planterary thinking network" as the "Noosphere". Some date Chardin's teachings on this back to 1925, giving a special place for the church in the conception of cyberspace. Either way, it was a long time before Al Gore or any of us were alive.

We don't need to get all RAH-RAH about the internet or new media. That is a sure sign of old age -old people have an infatuation about technology (along with thinking that all music is too loud and all clothes are too baggy). But it is true that we are in the beginning stages of a new reformation, a renaissance of sorts. One that is giving a physical representation to the way we already view the world. So lets try and understand where we are and make the most of it.

Posted by Andrew in Internet | Permalink


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» Borrowing stories from Greenflame
Over in his new blog Tall Skinny Kiwi has posted about people borrowing Teilhard de Chardin's concept of the noosphere - a global mind or interconnected consciousness or even soul - to visualise cyberspace. (See: RecycledSpam: Noosphere). It was intere... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2004 10:36:52 AM

» Where New Media and Theology Meet from Ernesto Burden

I've come across the supposition several places recently (including hearing it mentioned on the radio just two days) that a Jesuit priest named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin m [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 24, 2005 1:04:10 PM


I like it. Thanks for being willing to experiment and share.

Posted by: Justin Baeder | May 3, 2004 3:18:48 PM

I wonder whether Chardin would be a little bit bemused by the earthyness of the internet. I always think he is a head in the clouds type of guy! The internet is another response to the all-devouring greed of consumerism, another market place, another source for advertising, another place to make a buck. Remember the birth of the internet was in the labs in South East US - between military experimental installations - not the Church. It was not raised up to bring health and healing but to assist those who would destroy the universe. Those of us who ride the wave ride a consumerist, militarist wave. Which of course is fine...we can all be revolutionaries...as long as we recognise this fact. We are all like Neo (at least in the first blessed film of Matrix) all caught up in a web of demonics, all fighting to free ourselves to be God's people, yet all not really knowing how free we are, how immersed we are, how beholden we are to the system already. How much of our church gear, our emerging church techno paraphernalia is simply a rehash of consumerism?

I think you might be jumping ahead a little. Why dont we walk out some more of the history and then make some conclusions? Hang with us . .

Posted by: Pete Phillips | May 3, 2004 8:31:11 PM

Pete, one could say this militarist entity stole it from Chardin...but a needed reminder. Andrew thanks for playing, now I have to sort out my blog and get a RSS feed... yipes!

Posted by: Gary Manders | May 3, 2004 11:45:23 PM

Now this is so interesting. I feel very drawn to Chardin these days and I've definitely read his books. Back in college, though, I studied Vanevar Bush. I thought of the connection instantly when I read Toward the Future by Chardin. Keep up the great observations of trends in our history and futures. In terms of making the world idea network live up to its full spiritual potential, we are all up to that work. My other two websites are www.gabrielcousens.com and www.peaceeveryday.org. Contact me anytime.


Posted by: Michael A. Bedar | Jul 30, 2008 6:34:16 PM