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GOD FROM THE MACHINE: Consciousness, Artificial Intelligence, and Divine Presence

December 2, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Consciousness, Artificial Intelligence, and Divine Presence


Joshua Canzona, PhD


December 2, 2021, 7:00 pm EST


SugarLoaf Campus of Chestnut Hill College
9230 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118

in person and livestream

Free and open to the public

Co-sponsored by:
Institute for Religion and Science and Chestnut Hill College
and American Teilhard Association


This presentation will examine the theological status of artificial intelligence (AI) based on its potential for increasingly complex and even self-reflective consciousness. We will draw on three sources: (1) Mystical approaches to consciousness in the work of the Jesuit scientist-priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (2) Similar panentheistic threads in the work of Muhammad Iqbal, the intellectual father of Pakistan and (3) the Integrated Information Theory (IIT) developed by neuroscientists Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch.

We will consider the viability and consequences of a theological perspective connecting the recognition of God in all things with a recognition of consciousness as a fundamental aspect of reality. How might this change our worldview? Does it affect ethical considerations of AI?


Joshua Canzona, PhD holds a doctorate in theological and religious studies from Georgetown University. His research interests include comparative mysticism, religion and science, and religion and art. He teaches at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity and serves as the Associate University Ombudsman at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where he provides conflict resolution services to a constituency exceeding 40,000 community members.



December 2, 2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category: