This unit introduces students to the specific issues related to current scientific and technological developments, explores their impact upon different spheres of life and engages with major ethical and theological responses. Students will employ the Four Voices model of Theological Action Research developed by Helen Cameron to address a variety of questions related to Artificial Intelligence, robotics, biotech, space exploration, human enhancement, Big Data, surveillance, life extension and beyond. Students will explore these issues through interdisciplinary theological reflection, primarily drawing on the frameworks of consequentialist and virtue ethics.

Unit code: CT8128B

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Eva Burrows College

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Learning outcomes


Describe trends, possibilities and utilisation of developing technologies


Assess different theological and ethical responses to emerging technologies


Apply critical skills for theological reflection


Critically engage with a variety of literature and technologies


Develop critical theological responses to some current and emerging technological advances

Unit sequence

Postgraduate: it is the first in a sequence of three units in the area of Futurism and Theology


Engagement with AI and emergent technologies, interdisciplinary workshops, application of pastoral cycle of theological reflection, primarily (though not exclusively) within a consequentialist and virtue ethics framework.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Berghaus, Günter, eds. Futurism and the Technological Imagination. Leiden: Brill, 2016.
  • Cameron, H. et al. Theological Reflection for Human Flourishing. London: SCM, 2012.
  • Cole-Turner, Ronald. Transhumanism and Transcendence : Christian Hope in an Age of Technological Enhancement. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2011
  • Geraci, Robert M. Apocalyptic AI : Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Harari, Yuval Noah. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. London: Harvill Secker/Vintage, 2016.
  • Kurzweil, Ray. The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. New York: Penguin, 2006.
  • Lin, Patrick, Abney, Keith, and Jenkins, Ryan. Robot Ethics 2.0: From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Lin, Patrick., Abney, Keith, and Bekey, George A. Robot Ethics the Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics. Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2012.
  • Mitchell, C. Ben, Edmund D. Pellegrino, Jean Bethke Elshtain, John F. Kilner, and Scott B. Rae. Biotechnology and the Human Good. Georgetown University Press. 2007.
  • Stober, Spencer S. and Donna Yarri. God, Science and Designer Genes: An Exploration of Emerging Genetic Technologies. Praeger, 2009.
  • Sutton, Sean D. Biotechnology: Our Future as Human Beings and Citizens. SUNY Series in Philosophy and Biology. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 3,000 words

3000 50.0

Report of Interaction with AI experiences 1,000 words

1000 20.0
Oral Presentation

Presentation 2,000 words

2000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 25 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-25 13:43:28 +1100