CONSPIRACY THEORIES DURING CORONAVIRUS TIMES – THE SAPLINGS OF A NEW GNOSTICISM INSIDE THE CHURCH
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we have been bombarded with a constant stream of conspiracy theories and fake news regarding the coronavirus, vaccines, 5G radiation, microchips. Some of these theories have circulated only inside fringe communities on the internet, but most have been transmitted very intensely amongst the faithful, and some have made it up to the highest levels of the Church hierarchy. The question we would like to address in this article is why do Christians succumb and are so likely to transmit to others such statements, whose falsity is blatantly obvious to anybody with a very basic high-school physics education. It is our opinion that this pro-conspiracy attitude is the syndrome of a very incomplete catechization and of a resurgence of gnostic heretical thinking, encouraged by the new social media communication tools. We will begin with a brief review of Gnosticism, of what made it so popular at the beginning of the Christian era, and of what brought about its demise. We will then show that the same mechanism that was at work in the Gnostic thinking responsible for the propagation and acceptance of conspiracy theories.
Keywords: Gnosticism, Conspiracy Theories
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