Revista Studii Teologice


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"Internetul: tendinţe şi pastoraţie"

The Internet: Trends and Pastoral Work

Autor(i): Pr. Iulian NISTEA

Summary: The Internet: Trends and Pastoral Work
Internet’s world, like any other “worlds” or “media,” needs Christianity, just as Orthodox Christianity cannot ignore the Internet. Despised by Orthodox spiritual circles, long deemed as a mere virtual escape, unreal and illusory, the fast-expanding Internet is instrumental to coherent pastoral activity, fitted for the cyberspace. However, this presence of Christianity in the world of the Internet is not a random one, but it is governed by Christian pastoral principles able to lend coherence and consistency to the Christian mission.
Developing an Orthodox pastoral activity of the cyberspace requires updating and attuning the Orthodox anthropology at large, and the spiritual, philocalic tradition in particular, to the “Internet world.” It is a new “inculturation,” a new substantiation of the Christian message, this time not within the “new world” of a novel culture or civilization, but in the “Internet world,” subsumed by all others. In order to carry out pastoral activity via the Internet, one must know and comprehend the reasons for its presence in the cyberspace, the psychological peculiarities of the individual within this realm, the cyber-relationships and the various psychological dynamics of groups within the cyberspace. Experts in cyber-psychology are invited by the Church to answer all these questions.
Therefore, pastoral work carried out via Internet necessitates a traditional, however inculturated anthropological view, manifest in a specific environment, as well as a pastoral theology attuned to the Internet by taking into account the specificity of people’s presence and relation building in the virtual realm. A coherent structuring of pastoral activity via Internet must also imply Christian research into the psychology of employing it and relating through it, and the concrete consequences on the users of technological innovation in this realm. These studies should result in guides providing explanations and directions for all those who undertake missionary work via the Internet, for parents, children and all Christians in general.

Pagini: pp. 85-92