Special Seminar: Professor Ronald Cole-Turner, "Human Enhancement and Christianity: A Case of Friendly Fire?"

Past Event

27 January 2009, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Professor Ronald Cole-Turner, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Abstract: The religious impulse for human transcendence, especially in Christianity, lies deep below the current debate over the morally-acceptable use of technology for purposes that go beyond therapy to enhancement. Are religion and technology merely different visions of the human future and different means to similar ends? I shall argue that the difference between religious and technological visions of human enhancement is significant but that the two are not incompatible. A religious perspective, I suggest, raises critical questions for the secular enhancement project, such as who or what do we mean to enhance, and how far. At the same time, the emergence of the technologies of human enhancement challenges Christian notions of the human future with the prospect that technology might deliver what religion promises.