Transhumanism and the imago Dei: narratives of apprehension and hope

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Martin Sutherland en
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Nicola Hoggard-Creegan en
dc.contributor.author Garner, Stephen Robert en
dc.date.accessioned 2007-12-11T23:04:25Z en
dc.date.available 2007-12-11T23:04:25Z en
dc.date.issued 2007 en
dc.identifier.citation Thesis (PhD--Theology)--University of Auckland, 2006. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/2251 en
dc.description.abstract The development of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality generate narratives of apprehension within contemporary Western technoculture. Transhumanist narratives declare that humanity is now upon the brink of seizing technological control of its own evolution, and creating a brighter and better posthuman future. For many, this leads to human technological capability being seen with both a sense of wonder at its potential, and a sense of dread of that same potential. Theologically, this raises two key questions: Firstly, why are human beings technological? Secondly, how should human technological agency be pursued? In this thesis, the motif of the imago Dei, the theological assertion that human beings are somehow made in the image and likeness of God, is employed to explore technological narratives of apprehension, and to answer these key questions. It is argued that the imago Dei, interpreted through the metaphor of the created co-creator, provides significant insight into the question of human technological inclination. The created co-creator, as a metaphor of hybridity, also intersects with similar transhumanist visions of the hybrid or cyborg, where the boundary between human persons and technology is ambiguous. Such visions of the hybrid prove disconcerting, for they blur traditional categories used to organise the world. Moreover, such visions also comprise elements of technological eschatology that provide meaning and hope, and stand in possible conflict with theological equivalents. The thesis concludes by considering how the metaphor of the created co-creator can draw upon the richness of the Christian traditions of social concern and hybridity to engender narratives of hope. These new narratives enlarge upon the theological understanding of human technological creativity and purpose to supplement the narratives of apprehension. In doing so, they provide impetus for wholesome and hopeful technological agency. en
dc.format Scanned from print thesis en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA1757833 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Transhumanism and the imago Dei: narratives of apprehension and hope en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Theology en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.local.anzsrc 22 - Philosophy and Religious Studies en
dc.relation.isnodouble 20021 *
pubs.org-id Faculty of Arts en


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