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Human Enhancement and Transhumanism Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

This Unit welcomes papers on any aspect of the relationship between religion and human enhancement through technology or on transhumanism. We seek perspectives from a variety of religious traditions and encourage relational, feminist, queer, postmodern, and postcolonial analyses. Original research is a priority. Papers may identify and critically evaluate any implicit religious beliefs, practices, and values that might underlie the development and use of human enhancement technologies or the key claims, goals, values, and assumptions of transhumanism. For example, papers might explore the relationship between enhancement and core doctrines or practices of religious traditions, asking how religion might challenge a culture of enhancement or how the growing use of enhancement technology might challenge or reshape the religions of the future. Papers may provide critical and constructive assessments of an envisioned future that places confidence in nanotechnology, cognitive science, moral

bio-enhancements, genetics, robotics, and information technology to achieve enhanced human capacities or extend the human lifespan. Our Unit also welcomes proposals on: Religious transhumanisms and transhumanisms in relation to: global South perspectives, surveillance technologies, ethnographic and anthropological methods, climate change, animal liberation.

We are also encouraging papers or panel sessions proposed on the following topics:

  • Politics, social justice questions around access, and power dynamics between elite and grassroots transhumanists; and 2) Definitional work on engagement between transhumanisms and posthumanisms.



Call for Proposals for Online June Meeting

For the June meeting sessions, in addition to our regular call for papers, we invite global reflections on and precursors to transhumanism, particularly for emerging scholars and those working outside the US.

Statement of Purpose

“Transhumanism” refers to intellectual and cultural movements that advocate the use of a variety of emerging technologies to enhance human persons. The convergence of these technologies may make it possible to take control of human evolution, providing for "desirable" physical, moral, affective, and cognitive enhancements and the amelioration of aspects of the human condition regarded as undesirable. These enhancements include the radical extension of healthy human life, uploading consciousness / brain patterns, advanced prosthetics, and genetic modifications. If these enhancements become widely available, they would arguably have a more radical impact than any other development in human history — one need only reflect briefly on the economic, political, and social implications of some of the extreme enhancement possibilities. The implications for religion and the religious dimensions of human enhancement technologies are enormous and are addressed in our Unit. We are interested in encouraging and providing a forum for a broad array of diverse scholarly input. 


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members