In particular, Donna Haraway argued in her famous 1991 'Cyborg Manifesto' that people, since they are so often now detached and separated from nature, have themselves evolved into cyborgs. This striking idea has had considerable influence within critical theory, cultural studies and even science fiction (where it has surfaced, for example, in the Terminator films and in the Borg of the Star Trek franchise). But it is a notion that has had much less currency in theology. In his innovative new book, Scott Midson boldly argues that the deeper nuances of Haraway's and the cyborg idea can similarly rejuvenate theology, mythology and anthropology. Challenging the damaging anthropocentrism directed towards nature and the non-human in our society, the author reveals - through an imaginative reading of the myth of Eden - how it is now possible for humanity to be at one with the natural world even as it vigorously pursues novel, 'post-human', technologies.
Scott A Midson is Samuel Ferguson Research Assistant in the Department of Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester, where he obtained his PhD in 2012. Specializing in religion and technology and religion and new media, he is a member of the Society for the Study of Theology, where he delivered a paper in 2016 on the topic of 'Black Mirrors.' Cyborg Theology is his first book.
‘Scott Midson advances the debate around cyborgs and theology in this sustained and fruitful conversation between Judeo-Christian myth and posthuman anthropologies. His book will encourage readers to reflect not just on the impact of advanced technologies on their everyday lives, but also on the deeper questions about what it means to be human in a world of hybrid beings and fluid boundaries.’ - Elaine L Graham, Grosvenor Research Professor of Practical Theology, University of Chester, author of Representations of the Post/Human: Monsters, Aliens and Others in Popular Culture
‘In this pioneering contribution, Scott Midson carefully excavates our Edenic imaginary for its implications concerning how we think about and with technology. Utilising the concept of the cyborg, Midson brilliantly explores the shifting boundaries and coupling relationships between human and machine. The result is a tour de force: the outline of an original theological anthropology, recognizably connected to previous thinking and yet still remarkably fresh in its implications. Midson’s is a new and compelling voice on the theological scene.’ - Peter Scott, Samuel Ferguson Professor of Applied Theology and Director of the Lincoln Theological Institute, University of Manchester
‘Theology and Science has been an advancing discipline now for a number of years, but it rarely captures the imagination. Yet cyborgs are everywhere. They are our modern equivalent of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch. Theology starts to get material and imaginative when it tackles the technology we live with and structures our environment. Scott Midson’s book, clearly written, blazes a new path for theology in its pursuit of the trans- and post-human. Theology needs books like this to retool our outdated anthropologies. It then stops being about concepts and gets down to the mythic and imaginative: the re-enchantment of the world through technology. This is cutting-edge work that we need to start to include in our academic curricula. It speaks powerfully to the world we inhabit.’ – Graham Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
Series: Library of Modern ReligionHardback
Publication Date: 30 Nov 2017
Number of Pages: 240
Illustrations: 25 black and white illustrations