Ignatius Loyola and the internet : insights from Ignatian spirituality on the use of the internet for evangelisation.
Pollitt, Russell Edward.
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The internet has brought about a revolution in human communication, unparalleled, because of its ability to communicate instantaneously across the globe. It has transformed our culture and made, what seemed impossible, now achievable with the click of a mouse, from an office in a city or in the comfort of your lounge. The computer networks we use are far more than a means of communication. They are agents of social change. I try to analyse what impact the electronic media have on human worldview and behaviour. I highlight some of the challenges that electronic media pose: we are not sure how these media (and technologies) will continue to shape our lives as they develop at a rapid pace. Jesus of Nazareth spent his incarnate life proclaiming the reign of God and, in doing so, invited humanity into a relationship with God. He commissioned his disciples and, the whole Church in all time, to continue his proclamation of Good News. In obedience to his command the Church has, throughout history, used the communication technologies at her disposal to carry out this command. The internet makes another technology available to the Church. In this thesis I attempt to better understand the impact of communication technologies, specifically the internet, on the Church. I look at the relationship between the Church and mass media. I analyse how the Catholic Church has responded to the advent of the internet and, how the internet has been used for the task of evangelisation. I investigate some of the key documents of the Church on the means of Social Communication, focusing especially on those of the Second Vatican Council, in order to understand how the Church understands and perceives the media. Using the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola I offer an Ignatian Communications Model to help the Church use the internet more effectively for evangelisation. St. Ignatius lived in a time when another communication revolution took place: the advent of the Gutenberg printing press. I show how, using his spirituality, the Church can better use the internet for the task of evangelisation.