Greenflame

Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Cyborg, Image of God/Created Co-creator, Science, Technology & Religion

Re-imagining Christ as Cyborg

I’ve been looking at various ways in which people have appropriated Hefner’s metaphor of the ‘created co-creator’ and today I was following up a paper by Anne Kull (University of Tartu, Estonia) that drew parallels between the concept of the cyborg articulated by Donna Haraway and the dual-natures of Christ found in the Incarnation. Kull argues that Haraway’s cyborg and Hefner’s co-creator are parallel stories attempting to make sense of human being within technoculture.

Kull, Anne. “Cyborg Embodiment and the Incarnation.” Currents in Theology and Mission 28, no. 3-4 (2001): 279-284.

From the editorial for that issue (by Ralph W. Klein),

Anne Kull considers the views of Donna Haraway regarding the relationship between human beings and nature in our technological age. Haraway believes human beings have become “cybernetic organisms,” or cyborgs, through the marriage of machine and life. The cyborg has as much affinity with technology as it does with the wilderness. Cyborgs are hybrid entities and have the potential to disrupt present dualisms that set the natural body in opposition to the technologically recrafted body. Nature is a co-creation among humans and non humans, machines, and other partners. The concept of the cyborg makes it possible to affirm our createdness with a new specificity, along with the creativeness of the rest of nature. Since the incarnation of Jesus is so contrary to common sense, it is useful for critical positioning and for destabilizing categories.

Some interesting ideas in there, and Kull uses the idea of the hybrid to link together a whole bunch of ideas that I’d like to tease out sometime. In her paper she concludes,

Deliberately posing as a hybrid creature, Jesus can show the arbitrariness and constructed nature of what is considered the norm(al)—and often, significantly, natural. The borderland of history and consciousness, where crossings are never safe and names never original, allows for differently articulated stories for humanity. (p.284)

While I was reading the paper I was thinking about this image which I’d seen a while back.

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