Theologian and high-tech consultant Jennifer Cobb combines her expertise to create a new theory of the Divine in the Information Age.
As computers and artificial intelligence systems become more sophisticated, the question of whether we can find spiritual life in cyberspace is beginning to be asked. CyberGrace: The Search for God in the Digital World is a bold, thought-provoking, affirmative answer to one of the most intriguing inquiries of our time.
Until now, an unbridgeable schism has separated the world of the spirit and that of the machine. According to an increasingly compelling concept known as emergence, the gulf may be an imaginary one. Fifty years ago, Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin combined his lifelong passions of God and science to predict the emergence of cyberspace, based on his studies of evolution. Using Teilhard's theories as a starting point, Jennifer Cobb asserts that as technical systems become more complex--with simple, predictable mechanisms coalescing into hierarchies of increasing organization--something elegant, inspired, and absolutely unpredictable simply and suddenly "emerges." Many observers today see this "hand of God" showing itself in disparate disciplines, from evolutionary theory to artificial intelligence--and especially in the furthest realms of cyberspace, where brute computation seems to give way to divine inspiration.
CyberGrace offers paradoxical evidence that our machines may be conduits to a deeper spirituality. With daily headlines announcing dizzying advances in science and information technology, many people wonder about their--and their children's--ability to lead lives imbued by a sense of the sacred. In the new world, where the search for spirituality may seem scattered and unfocused, Cobb brilliantly uses the most popular and prevalent phenomenon of our times--the computer--to find a world filled with meaning and love.