Anne Foerst


For many centuries, people have complained about the churches, their institutionalizations, and the often "un-christian" (e.g. intolerant) behavior of some of their members. Everyone who ever had anything to do with an organized religion knows that they are far from perfect. Theologians, therefore, distinguish between a visible (weak, imperfect) and an invisible (perfect, eternal, holy) church; the latter cannot exist on earth because we humans are not perfect but there is a connection between the invisible and the visible church.

The newest attempts to create a community which is close to the invisible church can be found on the internet. Many churches have started to present themselves on the net, one can participate in on-line prayer groups and masses. Finally, the internet itself can be used to create religious metaphors.

We will analyze these communities on how authentic they are, and how much of a community they create. We will focus especially on the body and its importance for human thought. In the end, we will apply our findings to other on-line communities.