FREE PUBLIC EVENT: CSCA presents a lecture by Rev. Professor Stephen N. Williams (Honorary Professor of Theology at Queen’s University, Belfast).
Stephen N. Williams
"The Challenge of Transhumanism"
Wednesday | 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm | Leonard Hall, Wycliffe College
The Challenge of Transhumanism
Allowing for different definitions and features of transhumanism, I shall argue that Christians should take a fundamentally critical position in relation to it. Three areas will be considered. Firstly, the question of emotional enhancement, basic to transhumanism, will be examined. Secondly, we shall consider the implications of the gift to humankind of dominion (Genesis 1) in light of the proposal that we enhance our species. Thirdly, I shall underline the importance of understanding the signs of the times, interpreting transhumanism not just by looking narrowly at its particular agenda but by looking more widely at its socio-cultural significance. I shall conclude with some constructive observations.
Stephen Williams holds MA degrees in Modern History from the University of Oxford and Theology from the University of Cambridge. After a period there as Henry Fellow, he received his Ph.D from Yale University (Department of Religious Studies) in 1981. With the exception of a brief period in Oxford at the Whitefield Institute for theological research (1991 – 1994), he spent his professional life in Presbyterian seminaries in the United Kingdom, first as Professor of Theology in the United Theological College, Aberystwyth (1980 – 1991) and then as Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological College, Belfast (1994 – 2017). He was appointed Honorary Professor of Theology at Queen’s University, Belfast, in 2017 and elected Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2018. He has published in different areas, especially in theology and intellectual history. His books include Revelation and Reconciliation: A Window on Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 1995), The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity (Baker Academic Press, 2006) and The Election of Grace: A Riddle without a Resolution? (Eerdmans, 2015).