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Advances in the Study of Information and Religion

Abstract

The traditional Christian belief in the Trinity states that God exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit, and that people were created in “the image of God.” This is understood to mean that humans reflect the nature of God and His ability to communicate. This ancient Christian concept has implications not only for theology, but also for communication within Christian communities. The goal of this paper is to explore the ability of a modern information theory to shed light on this doctrine and improve communication within the Church. This paper seeks to bridge the gap between ancient theology and modern theory by asking the following question: “Can Gordon Pask’s conversation theory serve as a framework for information transfer within the Trinity and within Christian religious communities?” The author’s perspective is that conversation theory can be used as a framework for exploring knowledge creation and sharing within the Trinity and subsequently within the Christian community. These new insights are based on Pask’s conceptualization of psychological and mechanical individuals, entailment meshes, and consciousness. As these concepts create new perspectives, they have significance for communities who model their communicating on Trinitarian theology. This discussion will be based on theoretical, theological, and biblical evidence which demonstrates that conversation theory is compatible Trinitarian theology. Conclusions include implications for the process of creating and sharing religious knowledge from the individual and the corporate perspective.

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