The Fellowship of the Net

in International Journal of Public Theology
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The article revisits the tradition of religious socialism as a potential resource for the information age. It begins with a detailed exposition and defence of the ideas of network society theorist Manuel Castells. However, the article questions Castells’ reliance on contemporary social movements as a response to what he calls the bipolar opposition between the net and the self. Arguing for a more universal and ontological solution, it seeks to reappropriate the nineteenth-century Christian socialism of Maurice, Ludlow and Kingsley, specifically their powerful doctrine of mere brotherhood. Updated as the fellowship of the net, the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind under the fatherhood of God turns into an attractive and plausible twenty-first century ideal.

The Fellowship of the Net

in International Journal of Public Theology

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References

7

Ibid. p. 4.

8

Ibid. pp. 4 13.

9

Ibid. p. 4.

11

CastellsNetwork Society p. 14.

12

Ibid. p. 77.

13

Ibid. p. 164.

14

Trevor HaywoodOnly Connect: Shaping Networks and Knowledge for the New Millennium (London: Bowker-Saur1999) p. xiv.

15

CastellsNetwork Society p. 500.

16

Ibid. p. 501.

17

Ibid. p. 508.

18

Ibid. p. 3.

20

Ibid. pp. xv–xvi.

21

Ibid. p. 2.

23

CastellsPower of Identity p. 8.

24

Ibid. p. 9.

25

Ibid. p. 10.

26

Ibid. p. xv.

27

Ibid. p. 70.

28

Ibid. p. 428.

29

BellComing pp. 366–7.

31

Ibid. p. 70.

32

Ibid. p. 136.

33

Ibid. p. 169.

34

See for example Anthony Giddens‘Out of Place’The Times Higher Education Supplement13 December (1996) 18.

36

Manuel CastellsNetworks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age (Cambridge: Polity Press2012) p. 246.

38

CastellsEnd of Millennium p. 396.

39

See for example Sami Coll‘Power, Knowledge, and the Subjects of Privacy: Understanding Privacy as the Ally of Surveillance’Information Communication and Society17:10 (2014) 1250–63; David Lyon ed. Theorizing Surveillance: The Panopticon and Beyond (Cullompton: Willan Publishing 1996); Eric Stoddart Theological Perspectives on a Surveillance Society: Watching and Being Watched (Farnham: Ashgate 2011).

40

Ralph Schroeder and Rich Ling‘Durkheim and Weber on the Social Implications of New Information and Communication Technologies’New Media and Society16:5 (2014) 789–805.

41

See especially Philip N. BackstromChristian Socialism and Co-operation in Victorian England: Edward Vansittart Neale and the Co-operative Movement (London: Croom Helm1974); Torben Christensen Origin and History of Christian Socialism 1848–54 (Aarhus: Unversitetsforlaget i Aarhus 1962); Edward Norman The Victorian Christian Socialists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1987).

42

David Reisman ed.Democratic Socialism in Britain: Classic Texts in Economic and Political Thought 1825–1952 Vol. 2: Frederick Denison Maurice Charles Kingsley and John Malcolm Ludlow the Christian Socialists (London: Pickering and Chatto1996).

44

Ibid. p. 260.

48

Ibid. p. 223.

52

P.D. Jones‘Jesus Christ and the Transformation of English Society: the “Subversive Conservatism” of Frederick Denison Maurice’Harvard Theological Review 96: 2 (2003) 205–28 at 228.

59

Quoted in John Milbank‘Were the “Christian Socialists” Socialists?’ in The Future of Love: Essays in Political Theology (Eugene or: Cascade Books 2009) pp. 63–74 at p. 68.

60

Quoted in ChristensenChristian Socialism p. 137.

61

Parson Lot [Charles Kingsley]‘The Long Game: or a Few Words to the Workmen of England on the Present Crisis’The Christian Socialist: A Journal of Association29 November (1851) 337–9 at 337.

64

Frederick Denison MauriceDialogue between Somebody (a person of respectability) and Nobody (the writer) (Tracts on Christian Socialism, No. 1) (London: George Bell1850) p. 1.

65

John Malcolm Ludlow and Lloyd JonesProgress of the Working Class 1832–1867 (London: Alexander Strahan1867) p. 143.

68

Ibid. p. 168.

69

G.K. Lewis‘The Ideas of the Christian Socialists of 1848’The Western Political Quarterly4:3 (1951) 397–429 at 416.

70

Jones‘Jesus Christ and the Transformation’224.

75

NormanVictorian Christian Socialists p. 183.

76

WebbCo-operative Movement p. 167.

77

Andreas Wittel‘Toward a Network Sociality’Theory Culture and Society18:6 (2001) 51–76.

78

CastellsEnd of Millennium pp. 1 368.

79

Stephen Rainey and Philippe Goujon‘Toward a Normative Ethics for Technology Development’Journal of Information Communication and Ethics in Society9:3 (2011) 157–79 at 163.

81

Ibid. p. 623.

82

Christian Fuchs‘Co-operation and Self-organization’Triple C: Cognition Communication Co-operation1:1 (2003) 1–52 at 45.

83

Christian Fuchs‘Information and Communication Technologies and Society: A Contribution to the Critique of the Political Economy of the Internet’European Journal of Communication24:1 (2009) 69–87 at 78.

86

Ludlow and JonesProgress of the Working Class pp. 3–5.

87

Wilde‘Working Class Solidarity’ p. 27.

88

William H. Dutton‘The Fifth Estate Emerging through the Network of Networks’Prometheus27:1 (2009) 1–15.

90

John Marsden‘Frederick Denison Maurice, Christian Socialism, and the Future of Social Democracy’The Heythrop Journal45:2 (2004) 137–57 at 155.

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