Thursday, December 16, 2004

Short Bio - Stephen Garner

Hi, here's a brief biography about me.

I'm a PhD student at the School of Theology at the University of Auckland. My thesis research centres around examining the interaction between emergent digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, with Christian understandings of human nature (based on the image of God motif). Working title for the thesis is "Angels and Robots : Theology in Posthuman Times." In particular, I'm interested in the "religious" stories that technologiest tell (e.g. transhumanist "gospels of salvation") and quests to transcend the human flesh as well as emulate it synthetically.

As well as a background in theology I'm also a computer scientist - postgraduate study at both Canterbury (software engineering) and Waikato (machine learning) universities as well as working in IT in both industry and education.

I've lectured Theology and Biblical Studies from time to time at the Bible College of New Zealand and Carey Baptist College, as well as having been IT support for BCNZ's Centre for Distance Learning.

My paper for the colloquium will centre around the development of a model of interaction between Christian theology and technology - something that goes beyond the normal split of dialogues into science-religion and technology-ethics. Further details TBA.