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Transhumanist Dreams and Christian Hopes
March 10, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ronald Cole-Turner, PhD
H. Parker Sharp Professor of Theology & Ethics Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Technology has always played a key role in human evolution. Today, however, we face an entirely new situation. Not only is technology growing in power and sophistication, but we are turning it on ourselves rather than just on our environment. New technologies promise to enhance physical strength or appearance, to improve mental focus, to lengthen the human lifespan, or to bring about spiritual experience. A growing movement of transhumanists have banded together to advocate the development and use of these technologies, hoping they will be transformed from ordinary humans to something more than human, with healthier bodies, smarter brains, and longer lives than we ordinarily have. Some see this as hubris or selfishness, as “playing God” or as refusing to be merely but fully human. But the very word “transhuman” comes from a Christian context and speaks of our hope for transformation in Christ. In an age of technological transformation, how are we to understand the relationship between technology and grace?
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