Theology and Science Fiction Radio Interview and Review

Theology and Science Fiction Radio Interview and Review February 9, 2018

I recently spoke with Jim Lebans of the Canadian Broadcasting Company about religion and the singularity. Here is the program they put together:

It is fascinating to hear the result, as they brought together not only my own conversation but that of other academics into a fascinating combination. On their website they add:

Superintelligent machines as prophets or gurus

Another way to imagine our relationship with the superintelligent machines is to think about the gods of mythology. As Theologian James McGrath points out, we have a long history of imagining our relationship with beings that are superior to us, and many of these are cautionary tales.

McGrath, however, imagines many more positive outcomes in our relationship with superintelligent machines, including the possibility that they might use their abilities to develop religious thought — and answer some of the great religious and theological questions that humanity has struggled with. They might even become new prophets or gurus guiding our thinking about existence.

Click through to read (and listen to) more. Of related interest, Rev. Andrew Tucker wrote a review of Theology and Science Fiction in Currents in Theology and Mission 45:1 (2018). Here is a brief excerpt:

This small treatise offers an overview of the relationship between theology and science fiction. The book speaks well to those of us whose nerdery extends from the realms of theology to the stretches of our technological imaginations, but provides value even for those who do not appreciate science fiction as entertainment. Specifically, McGrath details how often science fiction and theology perform similar tasks for their consumers, and as such, suggests they perform better as partners than antagonists in the quest for meaningful living.

Click through to the journal website to read the rest of the review. I am not sure whether “nerdery” is technically a word, but I like it, and plan to use it in the future, at least to describe myself if not others!

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