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.
This article is a reworked version of a PhD dissertation entitled ‘Virtualiteit in Dietrich Bonhoeffer se Sanctorum Communio’,
presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Philosophiae Doctorae, completed in 2015 in the Faculty of Theology,
University of Pretoria under the supervision of Prof. Dr Johan Buitendag.