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Politische Theologien (in) der Überwachungsgesellschaft
Recent years have witnessed rapid developments in the technological possibilities and political deployment of surveillance technologies. In the wake of 9/11, politics of fear and disenfranchisement in the name of security have reigned not only in theWestern world. However, not only the political, but also the private and commercial realms have changed dramatically
due to the "new transparency" induced by the data machinery of Google and Amazon, Facebook andWhatsapp. Today's extent of automatic gathering, storing and analysis of \big data" by a variety of actors allows for accumulation of much more information than any human observation would ever be able to provide. In the face of the situation today, George Orwell might seem like a "naive optimist" (Der Freitag).
While during the last decade considerable research has been conducted in the emergent field of \surveillance studies", much of the extant literature focuses on the range of technological developments and their application. What, however, remains largely unassessed to date is the fact that the 21st century is witnessing a deep transformation of public space. What does the permeation of political, social and private life with surveillance technology mean for the possibilities and conditions of civil society on a structural level? Even less work has been done from a theological point of view. Isolated studies propose an "ethics of care" concerning the use of personal data or assess the anthropological signicance of the new technologies. However, it can be shown that the current technological developments undermine the very distinction of the private and the public, of inside and outside. Thus, they deeply challenge traditional conceptions of political ethics within theology. Models relying on "two kingdoms" or
"two regiments" are structurally unable to describe the present situation let alone offer orientation for ethical judgment and intervention. New theological models of political ethics will have to be devised that take into account the dierentiation and dispersion of actors in the public realm as well as the collapse of the private-public distinction.


Politische Ethik, Politische Theologie, Surveillance Studies

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