Information and Religion

Chapman, David (2016). Information and Religion. In: Images of Europe - Past, Present, Future - ISSEI 2014 Conference Proceedings (Espiña, Yolanda ed.), Universidade Católica Editora, Porto, Portugal, pp. 1024–1033.



Increasing numbers of workers in an ever-widening range of disciplines have been discovering that a theory of information provides new insights into their field. Hans Christian von Baeyer, for example, argued in his 2003 book that information is the new language of science. Wolfgang Hofkirchner argues that our understanding of information is undergoing a paradigm shift with far-reaching consequences, and the philosopher of Information Luciano Floridi has put forward the thesis that information underpins a fourth revolution (following the three due to Copernicus, Darwin and Freud) which repositions our sense of identity.
Albert Borgmann identified three roles for information: information about reality; information for reality and information as reality. This paper explores information about, for and as religion.
Information about religion concerns the use of information-thinking to describe and understand religion. Information for religion concerns information as a tool of religion. Information as religion, is information replacing religion or delivering a religion itself.
The potential scope of an exploration of the value of information ideas to religion is very large. This presentation suggests a framework for thinking about the field and points to a few specific examples.

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