Joshua Cooper Ramo,
"Finding God on the Web"

Joshua Cooper Ramo (b. 1968) is a senior editor for the weekly newsmagazine Time, where he covers business and technology. Formerly he ran a new media company for Time Warner, publisher of Time Digital, and was a science and technology reporter and creator of the online service at Newsweek. This article ran as a cover story for Time in December 1996.

"Finding God on the Web" (Composing Cyberspace p. 180) is not available online.

second thoughts

1. Although he discusses "cyberchurches" and "hypertheology," Ramo says that "the marriage between technology and religion is an ancient one" (¶ 18). In what ways did technological innovation affect major events in religious history, according to Ramo?

2. The question of whether electronic communication tends to pull people apart or bring them together is crucial in discussions of virtual community. From Ramo's article, how would you weigh the "surface discord" (¶ 12) of disagreement and competing religious views on the Internet against the potential of this medium to "create new communities of spiritual consensus" (¶ 13)?

3. Based on this article, your other reading, and your own experiences with religion and with computer technology, how would you answer Ramo's question, "Is it possible that God in a networked age will look, somehow, different?" (¶ 27)? What do you think about Sherry Turkle's (see her article in Chapter 1) or William Gibson's (see his story in Chapter 1 and in his story in Chapter 8) idea of the Net as a metaphor for God (¶s 29, 30)?

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