anthropology

Being Human—Being a Person

Being Human—Being a Person

In December of 2018, several scholars met at Oxford to discuss what it means to “be a person.” The conference featured international perspectives from five participants all of whom reflected on contemporary discourses and technological advancements that have destabilized traditional definitions of human being, human dignity, and personhood. Drawing from a range of modern, premodern, and more recent thinking on the subject, the scholars in question formed theological and philosophical arguments for an historically aware and thus integrated and complex notion of the human person in this age of rapid scientific and technological change. See the descriptions and videos below for their takes on “being human-being a person.”

Jens Zimmermann: Human Flourishing in a Technological World: The First Year

Jens Zimmermann: Human Flourishing in a Technological World: The First Year

Project Director Jens Zimmermann reflects on the recent year and looks toward the future of the Christian Flourishing project. The purpose of the first year was to define an underlying theory of the human person. With this in mind, Zimmermann codifies the various insights from our several scholars into a coherent summary of the first year, before moving on to the project’s vision for 2018.

Robert Doede: Human Nature, Technology and Mind-Uploading

Robert Doede: Human Nature, Technology and Mind-Uploading

This post traces the history of human nature and then relates this nature to the concept of “mind uploading.” Doede asks: “How did we get to the point where we can realistically entertain the notion of engineering the uploading of human identities onto inorganic digital platforms, especially given the prevailing evolutionary and physicalist ideological climate characteristic of contemporary western thought?” He argues that mind uploading is not our common destiny, and not even a coherent concept.

Michael Mawson: Theological Anthropology and Extending Life

Michael Mawson: Theological Anthropology and Extending Life

Michael Mawson asks “How should Christians understand and respond to recent technologies aiming to radically extend the human lifespan?” Responding through the work of Barth and Bonhoeffer, Mawson explores the key category of finitude for theological anthropology.

Celia Deane-Drummond: Features of Our Humanitas in a Cyborg Age

Celia Deane-Drummond: Features of Our Humanitas in a Cyborg Age

Celia Deane-Drummond introduces theologians to “extended evolutionary synthesis,” a concept known to some evolutionary theorists. She examines how this theory differs from other evolutionary theories, and opens some questions for the conversation between theology and science.