October 4, 2019

by David Lewin Should we expect the schools of the future to be saturated with technology? It has been widely reported (e.g. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/319288) that some leaders within major Silicon Valley tech companies have, rather hypocritically, chosen to limit the influence of their products on their own children, by restricting access to screen time and social media.  Take the following report: “You can’t put your face in a device and expect to develop a long-term attention span,” [said] Taewoo Kim, chief... Read more

October 4, 2019

by Brent Waters Technology is useful and beneficial. With various technologies we can accomplish a wide range of tasks with little effort. We board an airplane, for instance, and a few hours later arrive at our destination. Technologies help make our lives more comfortable. Our hand-held devices and headphones provide entertainment during our airplane trip. As late moderns—at least those living in developed economies—we enjoy an unprecedented ease of living. I have no desire whatsoever to return to a pre-technological... Read more

October 4, 2019

by Robert Doede History teaches us that civilizations’ most advanced technologies typically become their root metaphors. Root metaphors are the metaphors by which we understand everything else. As you might expect then, the West’s privileged metaphor today derives from the computer/the digital information processor. Metaphors, as we know, can expand understanding; by bringing two separate ideas into a working relationship in close linguistic proximity, metaphors enable ideas to semantically copulate, producing literal untruths that have the paradoxical potential of expanding... Read more

October 4, 2019

by Celia Deane-Drummond Delving into the deep past in order to help understand the present implies that there are, to a degree at least, anthropological constants about what makes us human. Evolutionary anthropology is helpful as it brings insights into how and in what circumstances humanity’s fascination with tool use emerged. Newer evolutionary theories such as the extended evolutionary synthesis theory recovers the importance of agency in evolutionary philosophy. Instead of understanding creatures as just being subject to the random... Read more

August 22, 2019

As part of the St. John’s Timeline project, Michael Burdett gives a lecture on the role of Jacques Ellul and Martin Heidegger in the genealogy of Western theological reflection about technology. The full lecture can be heard with a full subscription to the St Johns College Timeline: https://stjohnstimeline.co.uk/ Read more

March 1, 2019

In December of 2018, several scholars met at Oxford to discuss what it means to “be a person.” The conference featured international perspectives from five participants all of whom reflected on contemporary discourses and technological advancements that have destabilized traditional definitions of human being, human dignity, and personhood. Drawing from a range of modern, premodern, and more recent thinking on the subject, the scholars in question formed theological and philosophical arguments for an historically aware and thus integrated and complex notion of the human person in this age of rapid scientific and technological change. See the descriptions and videos below for their takes on “being human-being a person.” Read more

December 11, 2018

Clark Elliston explores the role of “play” in human life. He reflects on the nature of both sports and play with kids to contrast the all-encompasing nature of work enabled by technology. Read more

November 16, 2018

Project Director Jens Zimmermann reflects on the recent year and looks toward the future of the Christian Flourishing project. The purpose of the first year was to define an underlying theory of the human person. With this in mind, Zimmermann codifies the various insights from our several scholars into a coherent summary of the first year, before moving on to the project’s vision for 2018. Read more

November 1, 2018

Delivered recently at Durham to the scholars of the Christian Flourishing project, in this lecture Dr. Bishop explores how technological innovation shapes human perception of time, life, death, and meaning. In the “technological imaginary,” of which modern medicine is constituent, ageing and death seemingly may be infinitely deferred, and it is this innovating deferral that shapes the contemporary social imaginary around ageing and death in modern medicine. Read more

October 29, 2018

David Lewin asks if the domains of theology, technology, and education mutually illuminating or do they obscure one another on the question of the relations between present and future? And are we really going to spend the rest of our lives there, rather than here, now?” Read more

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