January 29, 2021

The achievements of technology for the enhancement of human life are rich in promise, pointing to a glorious future of health and happiness. New gene-editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9, nanotechnology advances in health care and continuing progress in neuroscience raise hopes of healing hitherto incurable defects or diseases. To borrow an enthusiastic line from The Scientist on technological progress in restoring eyesight: “Scientists have accomplished what previously was saved for miracle workers.” Surely, no one would want to gainsay the... Read more

June 10, 2020

by Dr. Michael Mawson, Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology & Ethics and Research Fellow in the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University, Australia. What is the significance of human aging—especially of our bodily and cognitive decline—for who and what we are as human beings? In what ways should we draw upon and make use of technology(s) for negotiating aging and its negative effects? How does this use of technology itself begin to shape how we understand... Read more

May 26, 2020

by Eleanor McLaughlin, Lecturer in Theology and Ethics, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and Course Coordinator of the MTh and PGDip in Applied Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, Oxford Gathering at the timeless Eynsham Hall in Oxfordshire to consider the relationship between advances in technology and human flourishing might seem at first glance to be an odd combination. The Hall is emblematic of a time before the types of technologies that are often seen as insidious, a more peaceful, less... Read more

April 9, 2020

  Today, 75 years ago, on April 9, 1945, the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the order of Hitler for his involvement with the conspiracy to topple the Nazi regime. Many will commemorate Bonhoeffer’s death today, especially Christians who will likely hold him up as an exemplary believer who died for his convictions. Indeed, Bonhoeffer’s legacy seems obvious: Politicians of all stripes praise him as Nazi resister, champion of human justice, and defender of human rights. He also enjoys... Read more

March 23, 2020

by Victoria Lorrimar Created to be creators? In engaging with transhumanist visions of the future, and the more general notion of human technological enhancement, from a theological perspective, a helpful starting point is the place of technology within a doctrine of creation. Within a Christian understanding, an examination of the biblical language for creation (i.e. a word study of the Hebrew bārā’and yātsar –the first of which is reserved only for the action of God while the second is an... Read more

March 23, 2020

by Clark Elliston, Assistant Professer of Religion and Philosophy, Schreiner University Friends are all-too-frequently taken for granted, both in everyday human experience and in theology. It seems that for many people friends simply emerge; a shared laugh or thought becomes many and through some unseen alchemy a friend is created. Theologically the situation is a little more delicate. The concept of friendship poses a problem for theology insofar as friendship, in both antiquity and early theology, remains largely a preferential... Read more

March 10, 2020

In June of 2019, a group of scholars gathered in Oxford to share ideas and discuss the impact of technology on humanity. A follow-up to the 2018 conference on personhood, this conference is the 2019 contribution to the ongoing research project “Human Flourishing in a Technological World: A Christian Vision,” directed by Jens Zimmermann. The lectures here focus on the mutual relationship between humanity and technology. How do humans use technology to shape the world around them? And, reciprocally, how... Read more

February 10, 2020

  This presentation is guided by the question: How do we understand and how ought we understand God’s purposes being realised in history, society and nature alongside what is clearly becoming more apparent today in the way human technological agency is impacting history, society and nature? Simply put, how does an understanding of divine providence relate to the increasing public belief that technology drives history and drives it for the better? The presentation will first provide a brief genealogy of... Read more

February 10, 2020

  This presentation argues that a Christian incarnational response to posthumanism must recognize that what is at stake isn’t just whether belief systems align. It seeks to relocate the interaction between the church and posthumanism to how the practices of posthumanism and Christianity perform the bodies, affections and dispositions of each. Posthuman practices seeks to habituate: (1) A preference for informational patterns over material instantiation; (2) that consciousness and the self are extended and displaced rather than discrete and localized;... Read more

December 4, 2019

by Jens Zimmermann, Project Director, Human Flourishing; Canada Research Professor for Interpretation, Religion, and Culture at Trinity Western University; Visiting Professor for Philosophy, Literature, and Theology at Regent College; Visiting Fellow of the British Academy at the University of Oxford; Research Associate at the Center for Theology and Modern European Thought in Oxford. Read more about Dr. Zimmermann. Contemporary Society and Techno-Reasoning One of the most important contemporary issues is our relation to technology. To be sure, technology is nothing... Read more

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