As you probably know by now, I’ve been blogging my way through John Dyer’s From the Garden to the City, a book about the redeeming and corrupting powers of technology and how that impacts the Christian Church. Of course, when we talk about technology in that context, we tend to assume that means the Internet and social networking, but other than the physical mediums of our modern-day telecommunications, we tend to forget that none of that is really new. In fact, the social media of today bears a striking resemblance to the social networks of 16th century Europe, which allowed Martin Luther’s charges against the Catholic Church to spread like wildfire.
From the moment in October 1517 when Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, his anti-Catholic protests began spreading at a rate that even took Luther by surprise. The Economist takes a look at why this happened and finds that just like with the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement of today, technology was at the heart of it: