Transhumanism and the Image of God
Today's Technology and the Future of Christian Discipleship
by Jacob Shatzer
Pub Date 09 Apr 2019
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"Jacob Shatzer deepens our understanding and practice of Christianity by showing us how profound and perilous the influence of technology is on how we think and conduct ourselves today. Shatzer gives us a calm and comprehensive account of how the intellectual community is responding to these transformative forces, both the observers who are enchanted with the lures of technology and the critics who help us see what is at stake. Most important, Shatzer concludes with consolations that are well founded and inspire confidence."
-Albert Borgmann, author of Real American Ethics
"Jacob Shatzer demonstrates serious Christian thinking while wrestling with the seemingly overwhelming issues associated with technology and its effect on our world. Moreover, Shatzer probes the questions of how these ever-expanding technologies are influencing us. This most insightful and helpful volume raises important issues for readers about what it means to be human, what it means to be created in the image of God, what it means to function in space and time, what it means to be human in relationship with others, what it means to live in genuine community, and what all of this means for Christian theology, ethics, worship, discipleship, and the practice of authentic fellowship. Shatzer challenges readers to reflect on how technology has changed us and how it continues to change us, recognizing that technology has both drawn us away from aspects of our past while opening up new opportunities for the days ahead. This carefully researched and well-written book calls for and deserves thoughtful engagement and reflection. I heartily recommend Transhumanism and the Image of God and congratulate Professor Shatzer on this fine work."
-David S. Dockery, president, Trinity International University/Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"During the remainder of this century we will increasingly have the potential to alter the future, not just of individuals, but of the entire human species. Genetic augmentation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other technologies will either serve a truly human future or human beings will serve those technologies. According to many tranhumanists, we are transitional humans on our way to becoming posthuman. So transhumanism offers a vision of a future in which we have the freedom to escape our humanity altogether. Jacob Shatzer—a new and refreshing voice in the conversation—provides cogent analyses of the transhumanist impulse and important practical strategies for preserving our humanity against the so-called technological imperative. Nothing less than our very humanity is at stake."
-C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University
"Jacob Shatzer's book is a superb guide for the Christian disciple who seeks to be faithful to Christ in a technology-dominant society. It is engagingly written, highly accessible, wide-ranging in its scope, and immensely practical in its application. I am pleased to recommend this thoughtful, important—indeed, essential—work."
-Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University, coauthor of Introduction to Biblical Ethics: Walking in the Way of Wisdom
"The adage that 'we shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us' takes on a new meaning with transhumanism. In this timely book, Shatzer explores how the liturgies of certain technologies can nudge us unwittingly toward a transhuman future and recommends practices that remind us what it truly means to be human."
-Derek C. Schuurman, professor of computer science, Calvin College, author of Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology