15 August 2020
Early Christian Anthropology and Transhumanismonline course
We live in an era in which technology increasingly replicates the activity of human persons. An insatiable appetite exists for deploying and expanding that technology into ever-new areas of human experience. In this context, transhumanism has emerged as an influential philosophical and social movement championing the idea that advancements in biology and artificial intelligence will help to overcome fundamental human limitations.
Even if such a trans-human age never materializes, it behooves Christian theology to engage with those who are pushing the technical and ethical limits of such human engineering. Such engagement requires the scriptural and ethical boundaries of Christian thinking about the human person. Surprisingly, one finds in Christian theologians of early centuries substantial reflection on these very questions. They wondered what it meant for God to create human persons and what Scripture means when it refers to humans as bearers of God’s image.
Within this framework this course will explore contributions of the Cappadocian Fathers, Ambrose, Augustine, John Chrysostom and Gregory the Great to informing the concept of the human person. Students will further compare and contrast this newly gained conception with descriptions of the human person found in emerging theoretical literature on transhumanism.
Prof. Dr. Brian J. Matz
Our Summer Colloquium is open to interested people with academic qualifications and can serve as additional in-service training for pastors, teachers, and other ministry professionals.
In addition to the course week itself, students have to complete preparatory assignments. The total workload is about 140 hours.
EUR 250: Online access to course material and online classes.