EMMANUEL DAYS 2013
April 16 and 17
“The Rise of the Post-Human: Where Is The Gospel?” was a successful and stimulating event. See documents below provided by key resource people.
Finding their way into the narratives of video games, hit television series and blockbuster movies, images of the post-human are fast becoming a part of our cultural milieu. Imagined and suspected evolutions of the human form are all around us. From the rise of the machines through recent advances in robotics and cybernetics, to the rise of zombies, vampires and comic book superheroes in cinema and fiction, many of us have witnessed representations of the post-human and perhaps never realized it.
The rise of the post-human represents a new age for us, our children and future generations. These images of the post-human shape the way we relate to each other, the things we value, what we believe and our understanding of what it means to be human. Is there more to this reality than just an "us vs. them" mentality where "human" is pitted against ones who are "less than human?" What might the rise of the post-human say to us about current social realities and human relationships? Is Jesus Christ in the mix? Where is the Gospel?
Tuesday, April 16 - 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Continental Breakfast in Emmanuel College, Room 119
Wednesday, April 17 - 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Elaine Graham
Dr. Elaine Graham is Grosvenor Professor of Practical Theology at the University of Chester, UK. Prior to that she was Samuel Ferguson Professor of Social and Pastoral Theology at the University of Manchester. She has written extensively in areas such as gender and pastoral care; practical theology; technology and popular culture; urban theology; and religion, culture and media.
She is the author of Making the Difference: Gender, Personhood and Theology (1995), Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty (1996), Representations of the Post/Human (2002) and Words Made Flesh: Writings in Pastoral and Practical Theology (2009). With Heather Walton and Frances Ward she wrote, Theological Reflection: Methods (SCM, 2005) and with Stephen Lowe, What Makes a Good City? Public Theology and the Urban Church (2009).
She is a former President of the International Academy of Practical Theology. Her next book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Public Theology in a Post-Secular Age will be published in September by SCM.
Moderator: Jesse Wente
Jesse Wente is the Head of Film Programmes at TIFF Bell Lightbox. His responsibilities include film scheduling, programming new releases and overseeing series and TIFF Cinematheque programming. Some of his contributions to programming since the opening of TIFF Bell Lightbox in September 2010 include retrospectives on Roman Polanski, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ousmane Sembène and Studio Ghibli. The landmark film programme “First Peoples Cinema: 1500 Nations, One Tradition” and its accompanying gallery exhibition “Home on Native Land”, opened in Summer of 2012. Jesse spent a decade as the film critic on CBC’s Metro Morning and has been a regular guest on “Q”, CBC Radio’s national arts and culture show and on TVO’s “Saturday Night at the Movies”.
Panelist: Erin Green
Erin Green Emm 0T7, is a PhD candidate at Emmanuel College. Her dissertation research focuses on the impact of the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence on theological anthropology and gives particular attention to issues related to human uniqueness and embodiment. She holds a Master of Divinity from Emmanuel, a Master of Arts from University of St. Michael's College, and a Bachelor of Science from Mount Allison University. Erin will serve on the panel on Wednesday’s programme.
Panelist: Neil Young
Neil Young Emm 8T6, was born the year the first mammals (mice) were grown from embryos developed in vitro and transferred to a surrogate mother. He has never been abducted by aliens, but has talked to a church-member who has been. He has no implants of any kind in his body (that he knows-of). One of his young daughters likes ‘The Walking Dead’, another was quite taken indeed with ‘The Twilight Series’—he wonders what this all might mean. Only one member of his current congregation has played a zombie in a film. All this to say that he finds that all the issues to be addressed in this program are extant and current in the life of the local congregation. Neil will serve on the panel in Wednesday’s programme.