Original Research

Being church in the era of ‘homo digitalis’

Wim A. Dreyer
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 40, No 1 | a1999 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v40i1.1999 | © 2019 Wim A. Dreyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 April 2019 | Published: 13 November 2019

About the author(s)

Wim A. Dreyer, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This article discusses practical ecclesiology, which reflects on the church of the 21st century from historical, empirical, hermeneutical and strategic perspectives. We live in the era of digital revolutions and ‘homo digitalis’. Virtual reality has radically altered the way we work, play, shop, study, keep in touch with friends and family, meet new people and express ourselves. For many, it is the only reality. This new reality raises many questions: Will it accelerate the ecclesial crisis of our time? Does it create opportunities to speak of God? How does it impact on our understanding of the church? A relevant, contemporary ecclesiology needs to address these questions.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Since the 15th century, a number of scientific discoveries and technological inventions have challenged all preconceived ideas of God and the universe. The impact of technology and the relation between faith (church) and reason (science) have often been discussed. It is no different at the beginning of the 21st century. The digital evolution is challenging churches all around the world to reflect on the human condition, faith as well as the nature and calling of the church within a radically new context. This contribution reflects on the interface between technology and theology in the era of ‘homo digitalis’.


Keywords

homo digitalis; history of technology; network theory; ecclesiology; cyberworld

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