Early Christian Anthropology and Transhumanism

11 October 2019

Early Christian Anthropology and Transhumanism

Early Christian Anthropology and Transhumanism is one of three inspiring courses offered in ETF’s online Summer Colloquium, scheduled August 10–15, 2020. This international study week includes lectures, various workshops and times for meeting and reflection.

Registration is open until 15 June 2020.

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 is Professor of the History of Christianity at the Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri, US.




ETF’s Summer Colloquium in August 2020 features three inspiring courses which intersect theology, church and society. The two other courses are:

This international study week includes lectures, various workshops and times for meeting and reflection. Our Summer Colloquium is compulsory for ETF Open University students open to interested people with academic qualifications and can serve as additional in-service training for pastors, teachers, and other ministry professionals.

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