Noreen L. Herzfeld and Carl S. Heirich
True religion should, in some sense, be perfect, or at least we seem to expect that. But we are dealing with humans and their limited understanding. Even if we accept that God is perfect, we must confront theodicy and realize that our concept of perfection is defined by what we encounter on the earth. The capacity for self-transcendence confronts human beings with a paradox. We have a vision of "what ought to be' that is limitless, while we ourselves are finite beings. We can imagine perfection, but can we attain it?
Noreen Herzfeld is a mathematician, computer scientist, and theologian. A Quaker by choice with a Lutheran background, she teaches at a Catholic University. She has critically considered the limited nature of informational sciences and mathematics and now brings us to consider the limits of perfection in religion.
Noreen L. Herzfeld
Technology is changing all the time, but does it also have the ability to change us and the way we approach religion and spirituality? In Technology and Religion: Remaining Human in a Co-created World, Noreen Herzfeld examines this and other provocative questions as she provides an accessible and fascinating overview of the relationship between religion and the ever-broadening world of technology.
In order to consider fully a topic as wide as technology, Herzfeld approaches the field from three different angles: technologies of the human body—such as genetic engineering, stem cells, cloning, pharmaceutical technologies, mechanical enhancement and cyborgs; technologies of the human mind—like human and artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cyberspace; and technologies of the external environment—such as nanotechnology, genetically modified crops and new agricultural technologies, and energy technology. She takes a similarly broad approach to the field of religion, focusing on how these issues interface with the three Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Throughout, readers will find nuanced examinations of the moral and ethical issues surrounding new technologies from the perspectives of these faith traditions.
The result is a multifaceted look at the ongoing dialogue between these two subjects that are not commonly associated with one another. This volume is the third title published in the new Templeton Science and Religion Series.
Noreen L. Herzfeld
In Our Image is the first extensive theological engagement with the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Herzfeld probes this new field, which seeks to replicate thinking in computers and more broadly to model human intelligence, for its theological depth. Offering a smart, accessible history and typology of research in AI, Herzfeld shows how its rival schools parallel competing options in the theological anthropologies. Herzfeld's exciting work further develops a relational model, in which she finds a needed corrective to the individualistic and narcissistic tendencies of much recent spirituality and the seeds of a human/computer ethic for the future.