Benek, Deasy, Redding @ Transhumanism and the Church September 24-26, 2015
Samford University, Birmingham, AL USA

Transhumanism and the Church

Theological Reflections on Technology and Human Enhancement

Samford University, Birmingham, AL, September 24-26, 2015

Technology has changed our world dramatically over the past century and promises to change it more rapidly in coming years. Emerging computer and biomedical technologies have the potential to revolutionize our bodies and perhaps our understanding of human nature. Transhumanism is the name for the movement that enthusiastically embraces the opportunity to transcend bodily limits with new technology, especially the possibility of extending the human lifespan and increasing mental and physical abilities. Its most optimistic advocates predict a future where death has been defeated through the power to reverse biological processes or offload mental states onto computers. What should be the response of the church to Transhumanism and the technological possibilities for human enhancement that are on the horizon? Samford University’s Center for Science and Religion will host a conference on “Transhumanism and the Church” as a way to promote critical reflection and public understanding on an issue that will become increasingly important in future decades.

Keynote speakers+

Ron Cole-Turner
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Editor of Transhumanism and Transcendence: Christian Hope in an Age of Technological Enhancement

Jeanine Thweatt-Bates
The College of New Jersey
Author of Cyborg Selves: A Theological Anthropology of the Posthuman

Joel Garreau
Arizona State University
Author of Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies—and What It Means to be Human

Steve Donaldson
Samford University
Author of Dimensions of Faith: Understanding Faith Through the Lens of Science and Religion (forthcoming)

Michael Burdett
Oxford University
Author of Eschatology and the Technological Future

Jeffrey Bishop
St. Louis University
Co-Author of Chasing After Virtue: Neuroscience, Economics, and the Biopolitics of Morality (forthcoming)