Thursday, December 6, 2007

Techno-gnosticism: Bodies Virtual, and Suffering

Elaine Pagels has made a career out of her "good parts version" (L.T. Johnson's term, borrowed from The Princess Bride) of early gnostic thought and writing. She doesn't waste time on gnosticism's down sides: its denigration of the body, elitism, and a relationship with Jewish tradition that makes some early Christian anti-Semites look downright irenic.

Even so, contemporary, technology-driven gnosticism should worry us far more. For a helpful contrast of techno-gnostic and orthodox Christian takes on the body, consider these two stories: one, about an on-line game; the other about a L'Arche community.

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