When sin goes viral

A technological analogy

Adam is . . . scattered throughout the globe. Set in one place, he fell and, as it were, broken small, he has filled the whole world. But the Divine Mercy gathered up the fragments from every side, forged them in the fire of love and welded into one what had been broken. . . . An immense task it was indeed; but think who the Artist was.

— St. Augustine

Famously, the invention of the printing press paved the way for the Reformation, putting the Bible into the hands of individual Christians, not just the learned clergy. It is too early to tell what profound religious effects will flow out of the invention of the Internet. But one development already is emerging: if the reading of books can be and usually is a private, individualized affair, Internet reading connects computer users to one another around the globe.


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