Original Research

Virtualiteit in Dietrich Bonhoeffer se Sanctorum Communio: Kollektiewe intelligensie as nuwe epistemologie vir die kerk?

Deon du Toit
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 3 | a3206 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3206 | © 2016 Deon du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2015 | Published: 05 August 2016

About the author(s)

Deon du Toit, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa


Virtuality in Dietrich Bonhoeffers’ Sanctorum Communio: Collective intelligence as a new epistemology of the church? Collective intelligence has been indicated from biological, philosophical, anthropological and technological developments. The stygmergy principle serves to explain collective behaviour in nature such as with ants. An earlier form of collective intelligence is found in Leibniz’ Monadology. Today, collective intelligence emerges from the anthropological space of knowledge. This article argues that collective intelligence such as Wikipedia is based on a postfoundational epistemology and asks whether this can be seen as a new epistemology for the self and the other. With these insights as hermeneutical interface, Bonhoeffers’ ecclesiology in Sanctorum Communio is re-read, and it is argued that Bonhoeffers’ church concept as Christus als Gemeinde existierend collectively might serve as a new epistemology for the church.


Virtuality; actuality; collective intelligence; sanctorum communio;


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