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Cybergnosticism? A Study of Contemporary Christian Faith Communities in Cyberspace

Hill, Graham Joseph (2004) Cybergnosticism? A Study of Contemporary Christian Faith Communities in Cyberspace. Master of Theology (major thesis) thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

This dissertation explores the research question ‘What gnostic-like elements are present within contemporary Christian faith communities in cyberspace?’ The research methodology is qualitative. It involves the examination of Gnostic documents and secondary scholarly sources on Gnosticism, and the detailed analysis of primary source written texts presented at the seventeen designated online contemporary Christian faith communities.

The two chapters immediately following the introduction examine the important foundational and specific issues relevant to a study of Christian Gnosticism of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. They serve not as a detailed study of these forms of Gnosticism, but rather as a distillation of its principal characteristics. These characteristics are used as benchmarks in the Content Analysis of the contemporary Cyber faith communities. The following three chapters use these benchmarks in the detailed examination of the online Christian faith communities’ particular perspectives on human personhood, community, and engagement with the world and social behaviour.

This dissertation concludes that human beings need some bodily engagement and gathering with others in order to experience authentic Christianity, that God is present within Christian communities in Cyberspace demonstrating his grace and redemption, and that while the Christian communities in Cyberspace manifest some Gnostic tendencies, they also contradict the core values of early Gnosticism. It is an overstatement, then, to label them as ‘cyber-Gnostic’.

Item Type: Theses (Master of Theology (major thesis))
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Gnosticism, Cybbergnosticism, internet, technology
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: D - Pastoral Studies
College/Association with University of Divinity: STC: Stirling Theological College
Depositing User: Rev Dr Graham Joseph Hill
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2019 00:39
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2019 05:23
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3375

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