MIHALACHE, Adrian The Postmodernity of Cyberspace (Spark Online, 2000)

Article review by Robert Brow   October 2000

Mihalache lives in Bucharest, Romania, but he writes regularly for Spark Online. As the www world explodes in all directions, he reminds us that cyberspace is a laboratory for experimentation and testing discourses, each developed according to its own assumptions and rhetoric.

The people who populate this world-wide laboratory are no longer the stable, coherent and rational selves of the Modern School. They are petulant, and playful. They do not recognize such thing as 'universal truth.' Nor do they believe that reason and science offer a stable foundation for knowledge and ethical behavior.

Academics object that there is no guarantee that the information acquired while navigating cyberspace corresponds to anything true or real. Those who surf know this. Knowledge from any source is the product of partial and perhaps erroneous points of view. All we know about the world is based on more or less creditable, more or less reliable, and more or less deceiving accounts.

Mihalache quotes Mark Currie to suggest that the only way to explain who we are is to tell our story, to select key events which characterize us and organize them according to the formal principles of narratives (Mark Currie, Postmodern Narrative Theory, New York: St. Martins Press, 1998, p. 17). That is exactly what we have to do in the proclamation of the Gospel.

Is our situation any different from that of St. Paul when he turned the world upside down? He had to compete with all sorts of competing narratives. And he made no attempt to argue from some undisputed historical or scientific foundation. We now know that God chose not to give us any such thing. And like David, we are much better off without Sauls cumbersome armour.

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