Post/Human Conditions

Perhaps one of the most pressing issues for the twenty-first century will be the impact of new technologies on our experiences and understandings of what it means to be human. For many commentators, this signals the advent of the ‘posthuman condition’, in which digital technologies will have the capacity to reconfigure our conceptions of space and time; cybernetic devices will enhance and augment bodies and minds; and genetic modification will challenge the fixity of ‘human nature’ at the most fundamental level. This article examines some of the most influential discourses—from science, ethics and popular culture—that promise to shape the choices and values determining how such technologies will be used, and to what ends. Closer analysis reveals a multiplicity of visions of ‘posthuman conditions’, however, informed by a diversity of philosophical, ethical, political — and theological—understandings of what it means to be human in an age of technology; and this article proposes the terminology of ‘post/human’ as a critical device designed to alert us to the choices and values inherent in our engagement with our tools and technologies. The article concludes by advancing some themes by which a deeper theological critique of the post/human might be conducted: transcendence, sacramentality and creativity, divine and human.

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Person: Graham, Elaine L. [Author]
Format: eArticle
Part of:Theology & sexuality 10(2004), 2, Seite 10-32