Zygon

ISSN: 0591-2385

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  1.  41
    A Broader Perspective on “Humans”: Analysis of Insān in Twelver Shīʿī Philosophy and Implications for Astrotheology.Abdullah Ansar & Shahbaz Haider - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):838-859.
    This article explores the essence of the human (insān) as it is understood in Twelver Shīʿī philosophy and mysticism. It presents a Shīʿī philosophical elucidation regarding the possible existence of extraterrestrial intelligent lifeforms and what their relationship with “humanhood” might be. This line of reasoning is presented with a general sketch of how, in Shīʿī Islamic thought, a “human being” is characterized by specific traits and the relationship of human beings with the archetype of the Perfect Human (al‐Insān al‐Kāmil). Following (...)
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  2.  7
    Theology, Science and Life. By CarmodyGrey. London: T&T Clark, 2023. x + 258 pages. $115.00. (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Jonathan W. Chappell - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1129-1131.
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  3.  13
    Guidelines for Computational Modeling of Friendship.William F. Clocksin - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1045-1061.
    Humans participate in an immense variety of relationships with other persons and other entities: human and nonhuman, living and nonliving, tangible and intangible, real and imagined. Participation in relationships is considered a key benchmark of personhood. Some of these relationships, particularly friendships, involve close emotional attachments, and some friendships have been described since antiquity as spiritual in nature. Different types of friendship depend upon factors such as proximity, social formality, physical intimacy, information exchanged, and the costs and benefits of maintaining (...)
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  4.  18
    The Qurʾān and Science, Part II: Scientific Interpretations From North Africa to China, Bengal, and the Malay‐Indonesian World.Majid Daneshgar - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):970-1004.
    The second installment in a three‐part series on the Qurʾān and science, this article provides a systematic discussion of the scientific interpretation of the Qurʾān both inside and outside the Muslim world. This discussion reveals how Muslims’ interactions with Euro‐Americans have kept discourse on the Qurʾān and science alive. It also demonstrates how Muslims promoted this exegetical genre transregionally from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.
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  5.  15
    The Qurʾān and Science, Part I: The Premodern Era.Majid Daneshgar - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):952-969.
    As the first installment in a three‐part series on the Qurʾān and science, this article begins with the author's personal and scholarly experiences to demonstrate the importance of the twin trends of Qurʾānic scientific interpretation and Qurʾānic scientific miraculousness, including how both serve as Muslims theological tools. It then touches upon the close relationship between theology and scientific knowledge in the history of Islam. The main focus concerns how science is situated and defined in Islamic literature, with particular references to (...)
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  6.  17
    The Qurʾān and Science, Part III: Makers of the Scientific Miraculousness.Majid Daneshgar - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1005-1028.
    The last article of this three-part series on the Qurʾān and science discusses the creation and development of the scientific miraculousness of the Qurʾān, which claims that the Qurʾān contains scientific findings and has particular scientific features, such as harmonious numerical analogies and formulae, that confirm the divine origin of the text. It became a political-theological tool used by Muslim preachers and activists across the globe. Unlike scientific interpreters of the Qurʾān, advocates of scientific miraculousness were concerned with not only (...)
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  7.  10
    Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health Among Scientists During the Pandemic: A Four‐Country Study. Di Di, Stephen Cranney, Brandon Vaidyanathan & Caitlin Anne Fitzgerald - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):815-837.
    A vast body of research shows largely positive associations between religiosity/spirituality (R/S) and positive well‐being outcomes. Such research has examined religious communities and general populations, but little is known about the relationship between R/S and well‐being among scientists, who typically tend to be less religious than the general public. Drawing on nationally representative survey data on physicists and biologists in India, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States (N = 3442), this study examines whether the relationship between R/S and (...)
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  8.  5
    Joint Attention and the Imago Trinitatis.Robert Elliot - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):860-885.
    This article incorporates into Christian theological anthropology some recent findings of a school of scientific researchers in the fields of comparative and developmental psychology. These researchers—namely, Michael Tomasello, Malinda Carpenter, and others affiliated with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology—have advanced a theologically significant hypothesis about a basic difference between the social‐cognitive capacities of human beings and those of other animals. Their hypothesis is that human beings are distinguished from other animals, in part, because of an ability to share (...)
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  9.  11
    The General Resurrection and Early Modern Natural Philosophers: A Preliminary Survey.John Henry - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):905-927.
    Noting that the doctrine of the general resurrection attracted renewed attention after the Reformation, and after the atomist revival led to the displacement of traditional hylomorphism by alternative matter theories, this article surveys the ways in which the resurrection was discussed by leading natural philosophers in seventeenth‐century England. These include discussion of how bodily resurrection might be possible, what resurrected bodies will be like; as well as the nature of living conditions after the resurrection. It is indicated that the resurrection (...)
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  10.  7
    And the Words Become Flesh: Exploring a Biological Metaphor for the Body of Christ.Deborah J. G. Mackay - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):886-904.
    Although every cell in a human body contains the same DNA, every cell uses its DNA differently, in unique interaction with its environment. Human bodies live and thrive because their cells and tissues are sustained in a whole whose life emerges from, but cannot be reduced to, its parts. Living creatures are organized systems of processes that maintain their identity not despite change but because of it. These biological observations resonate with the foundational New Testament metaphor of the Body of (...)
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  11.  7
    The Qurʾān and Zygon.Arthur C. Petersen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):813-814.
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  12.  5
    Is It Possible That Robots Will Not One Day Become Persons?Michael J. Reiss - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1062-1075.
    That robots might become persons is increasingly explored in popular fiction and films and is receiving growing academic analysis. Here, I ask what would be necessary for robots not to become persons at some point. After examining the meanings of “robots” and “persons,” I discuss whether robots might not become persons from a range of perspectives: evolution (which has led over time from species that do not exhibit personhood to species that do), development (personhood is something into which each of (...)
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  13.  8
    Reshaping the Heart‐Mind: A Response to Rowan Williams.John D. Teasdale - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1112-1116.
    This article suggests that themes in Williams’ (2023) analysis of attention and contemplation resonate powerfully with current thinking in cognitive science. By changing how we pay attention, we can change the shape, or underlying configuration, of the heart‐mind. This is the core process in mindfulness and contemplation. The Interacting Cognitive Subsystems (ICS) analysis suggests this involves a shift in the balance between conceptual knowing and holistic‐intuitive knowing.
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  14.  17
    The Gut: A Black Atlantic Alimentary Tract. By Elizabeth Pérez. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022. 75 pages. $22.00 (Paper). [REVIEW]Mladen Turk - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1127-1128.
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  15.  13
    Will We Know Them When We Meet Them? Human Cyborg and Nonhuman Personhood.Léon Turner - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1076-1098.
    In this article, I assess (1) whether some cyborgs and AI robots can theoretically be considered persons; and (2) how we will know if/when they have attained personhood. Since our discourses of personhood are inherently pluralistic and our concepts of both humanness and personhood are inherently nebulous, both some cyborgs, and some AI robots, I conclude, could theoretically be considered persons depending on what, exactly, one means by “person.” The practical problem of how we distinguish them from nonpersonal AI entities (...)
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  16.  17
    Rowan Williams on Attention and Memory in the Spiritual Life.Fraser Watts - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1117-1126.
    In a series of recent articles, including his Boyle Lecture, Rowan Williams has developed a theology of the role of intelligence and attention in spiritual life. There is a sense in which all intelligence is spiritual activity. Current approaches to intelligence are often mechanistic, but intelligence in spiritual life needs to be understood in a more embodied and organic way. Attention is often thought of as a matter of choosing which already‐formed objects to focus on. That overlooks the fact that (...)
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  17.  9
    The Relational Turn in Understanding Personhood: Psychological, Theological, and Computational Perspectives.Fraser Watts & Marius Dorobantu - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1029-1044.
    From the middle of the twentieth‐century onwards, there has been a growing emphasis on the importance of relationality in what it means to be human, which we call a “relational turn.” This is found in various domains, including philosophical psychology, psychoanalysis, and theological anthropology. Many have seen a close connection between relationality and personhood. In the second half of the article, we consider the implications of this trend for artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. So far, AI has largely neglected relational (...)
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  18.  24
    Attending to Attention.Rowan Williams - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1099-1111.
    Attention has often been seen as a selective process in which the mind chooses which already‐formed objects to focus on. However, as Merleau‐Ponty and others have pointed out, this ignores the complexity and ambiguity of sensory information and imposes on it a set of already‐formed objects in the world. Rather, attention is a process by which objects in the world are constituted by the perceiving subject. Attention thus involves a process of mutual negotiation with the environment. There are connections between (...)
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  19.  4
    God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning. By MeghanO'Gieblyn. New York: Doubleday. 2021. 304 pages. $28.00. (Hardcover). $18.00. (Paperback). [REVIEW]Goran Đermanović - 2023 - Zygon 58 (4):1128-1129.
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  20.  13
    The Machine in the Ghost: Transhumanism and the Ontology of Information.Michael Burdett & King-Ho Leung - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):714-731.
    An ontology of information belies our common intuitions about reality today and animates and governs both explicit scholarly study in philosophy and the sciences as well as the ideologies that are growing out of them. Transhumanism is one such technoscientific ideology that holds to a very specific ontology of information which need not be the only one on offer. This article argues that the transhumanist ontology of information exhibits gnostic and docetic religious overtones in it and that it devalues physical (...)
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  21.  18
    The Aims of Typologies and a Typology of Methods.Adam J. Chin - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):656-677.
    Typologies like Ian Barbour's have been widely used—and critiqued—in religion-and-science. Several alternatives have been proposed by, for example, John Haught, Willem Drees, Mikael Stenmark, and Shoaib Ahmed Malik. However, there has been a surprising deficit in discussion of what we wish typologies to do in religion and science in the first place. In this article, I provide a general analysis of typologies in religion-and-science by (1) providing a classification of existing typologies as conclusion- or concept-oriented; (2) showing that typologies are (...)
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  22.  15
    Spiritual Intelligence: Processing Different_ Information or Processing Information _Differently?.Marius Dorobantu & Fraser Watts - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):732-748.
    This article introduces the concept of spiritual intelligence in terms of a natural human ability to take a different perspective on reality rather than an extraordinary ability to engage with a different/supernatural reality. From a cognitive perspective, spiritual intelligence entails a re‐balancing of the two main modes of human cognition, with a prioritization of the holistic‐intuitive mind over the conceptual one. From the psychological and phenomenological perspectives, it involves a different kind of engagement with information: slower, more participatory, less objectifying, (...)
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  23.  17
    The Cooperative Neuron: Cellular Foundations of Mental Life. By William A.Phillips. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2023. 384 pages. $65.00. (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Derek Gatherer - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):806-807.
  24.  25
    “The God with Clay”: The Idea of Deep Incarnation and the Informational Universe.Niels Henrik Gregersen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):683-713.
    This article explores the relations between the idea of deep incarnation and scientific ideas of an informational universe, in which mass, energy, and information belong together. It is argued that the cosmic Christologies developed in the vein of Cappadocian theology (fourth century) and the Franciscan theologian Bonaventure (thirteenth century) can be interpreted as precursors of an informational worldview by consistently blending “formative” and “material” aspects of creativity. Reversely, contemporary sciences of information can enlarge the scope of the contemporary view of (...)
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  25.  33
    Fengshui: Science, Religion, Superstition, or Trade?Yuanlin Guo - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):591-613.
    Fengshui (also called Chinese geomancy) is a pre-modern tradition rooted in Chinese civilization. Chinese civilization is pre-modern and practice-oriented due to the domination of political power in China. In contrast, Western civilization is modernized. It witnessed the development of religion in ancient times, and the growth of science through reason (logic) and experiment in modern times. It is both rational and transcendental. It seems that Fengshui is an intermediate between science and religion. It is not science although its focus is (...)
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  26.  17
    Peacocke Prize Essay—Towards an Eastern Orthodox Contemplation of Evolution: Maximus the confessor's Vision of the Phylogenetic Logoi.Andrew Jackson - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):789-805.
    In recent years, several scholars have hinted at a resemblance between Maximus the Confessor's logoi cosmology and evolutionary biology. In this article, I develop these suggestions further and claim that the logoi (divine ideas or wills) do indeed behave in an evolutionary fashion, diverging hierarchically and interactively from the Logos. However, there the similarity ends, for the logoi are also purposeful, inviolable, and good, unlike evolution which is said to be random, ever‐changing, and cruel. But rather than abandon the logoi–evolution (...)
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  27.  11
    A Co‐Liberatory Framework for Big Data.Matthew Kuan Johnson & Rachel Siow Robertson - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):749-769.
    This article provides an account of the ethical issues that arise when digital technologies and online spaces are structured by Big Data algorithms. We show that although the uses of Big Data may be new, traditional theological and ethical categories are still applicable, including “the sins of the fathers” from hamartiology and the scholastic concept of haecceity. Using these resources, we map the overall ecosystem in which digital technologies are developed and used, identifying the relationships between the individuals and organizations (...)
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  28.  16
    The Science and Religion Forum Discuss Information and Reality: Questions for Religions and Science.Finley I. Lawson - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):678-682.
    The Science and Religion Forum (SRF) promotes discussion on issues at the interface of science and religion. The forum membership is diverse and it holds an annual conference to encourage exploration of issues that arise at the interface of science and religion. This article provides an overview of the hybrid conference that took place at the Woodbrooke Centre in Birmingham in May 2022. The conference addressed the issue of information and reality for religions and science across two broad themes. The (...)
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  29.  25
    From Angels to Aliens: Humankind's Ongoing Encounters with, and Evolving Interpretations of, the Genuine Celestial Unknown.Tim Lomas & Brendan Case - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):614-635.
    Throughout history, people have observed aerial events that appeared extraordinary and anomalous. In earlier eras, these were often interpreted through a lens that invoked special classes of divine beings, such as angels (who, compared with gods, are regarded as more likely to interact with humans). Today, in our ostensibly secular scientific age, there is a tendency to assume such observers were mistaken, and that with the benefit of modern knowledge, these events can be “debunked” and attributed to conventional naturalistic explanations. (...)
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  30.  15
    Ecological Saints: Adopting a Green Gaze of the Life and Writings of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys.Libby Osgood - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):569-590.
    During this time of ecological crisis, spiritual guides are needed to provide inspiration and impel action. In the Roman Catholic tradition, saints act as role models and are associated with particular causes, locations, or professions. Who, then, are the ecological saints, whose witness can inspire hope and action in support of the environment? This article explores that question in two ways. First the writings and accounts of saints who are traditionally connected to the environment are examined to produce six indicators (...)
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  31.  5
    Information and Reality.Arthur C. Petersen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):567-568.
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  32.  16
    Digital Theology and a Potential Theological Approach to a Metaphysics of Information.Peter M. Phillips - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):770-788.
    In this article, I offer a background to digital theology and its methodology, exploring especially aspects of transhumanism and metaphysical enquiry. The article moves on to engage with several articles given at the Science and Religion Forum at Birmingham in 2022, especially the Gowland Lecture given by Professor Niels Gregersen and the Peacocke Lecture by Andrew Jackson. Both offer a metaphysical approach to information linked closely to the concept of Logos drawn from the Prologue of John—Jackson focusing on Maximus the (...)
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  33.  77
    Rescue and Recovery as a Theological Principle, and a Key to Morality in Extraterrestrial Species.Margaret Boone Rappaport, Christopher J. Corbally & Riccardo Campa - 2023 - Zygon 58 (3):636-655.
    New theological understanding can emerge with the advancement of scientific knowledge and the use of new concepts, or older concepts in new ways. Here, the authors present a proposal to extend the concept of “rescue and recovery” found in the United Nations Law of the High Seas, off‐world and within a broader purview of other intelligent and self‐aware species that humans may someday encounter. The notion of a morality that extends to off‐world species is not new, but in this analysis, (...)
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  34.  15
    Created Being: Expanding Creedal Christology. By Rebecca L. Copeland. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press. 2020. 158 pages. $39.99. (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Abel K. Aruan - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):557-559.
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  35.  18
    Responsive Bodies: Robots, Ai, and the Question of Human Distinctiveness.Simon Balle & Ulrik Nissen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):358-377.
    In this article, we argue two points in relation to the challenge to human distinctiveness emerging as artificial intelligence systems and humanlike robots simulate various human capabilities. First, that, in the context of theological anthropology, it is advisable to respond to this challenge by turning toward the human body. Second, following this point, we propose the responsive body hypothesis, suggesting that what makes us distinct from androids are capacities that rise from and depend on our responsive bodies.
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  36.  18
    Nature Makes an Ascent From the Lower to the Higher: Gregory of Nyssa on Human Distinctiveness.John Behr - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):539-553.
    This essay explores the way in which early Christian writers held an eschatological understanding of what it is to be human, something that is to be attained, through the transformation of death and resurrection, and something that requires our assent. In this context, the article offers a new reading of the late fourth-century work entitled On the Human Image of God (otherwise known in English as On the Making of Man) by Gregory of Nyssa. It argues that Gregory structured his (...)
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  37.  12
    Tracing Distinctive Human Moral Emotions? The Contribution of a Theology of Gratitude.Celia Deane-Drummond - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):522-538.
    Darwin thought that the moral sense was among the most challenging aspects of human life to account for through evolutionary explanations. This article seeks to probe the question about human uniqueness primarily from a theological perspective by focusing in depth on one distinctive moral sentiment, gratitude, particularly in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. It uses that example as a case study about how to consider the validity of arguments for human uniqueness within the broader compass of the cultural evolution of (...)
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  38.  12
    Distinctively Human? Meaning‐Making and World Shaping as Core Processes of the Human Niche.Agustín Fuentes - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):425-442.
    Part of the task in studying human evolution is developing a deep understanding of what we share, and do not share, with other life, as a mammal, a primate, a hominin, and as members of the genus Homo. A key aspect of this last facet is gained via the examination of the genus Homo across the Pleistocene. By at least the later Pleistocene members of the genus Homo began to habitually insert shared meaning into and onto their world forming one (...)
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  39.  19
    Object‐Oriented Ontology and the Other of We in Anthropocentric Posthumanism.Yogi Hale Hendlin - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):315-339.
    The object-oriented ontology group of philosophies, and certain strands of posthumanism, overlook important ethical and biological differences, which make a difference. These allied intellectual movements, which have at times found broad popular appeal, attempt to weird life as a rebellion to the forced melting of lifeforms through the artefacts of capitalist realism. They truck, however, in a recursive solipsism resulting in ontological flattening, overlooking that things only show up to us according to our attunement to them. Ecology and biology tend (...)
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  40.  20
    How Culture Made Us Uniquely Human.Joseph Henrich - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):405-424.
    This article argues that understanding human uniqueness requires recognizing that we are a cultural species whose evolution has been driven by the interaction among genes and culture for over a million years. Here, I review the basic argument, incorporate recent findings, and highlight ongoing efforts to apply this approach to more deeply understand both the universal aspects of our cognition as well as the variation across societies. This article will cover (1) the origins and evolution of our capacities for culture, (...)
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  41.  15
    Experiencing the World as the Evolved Image of God: Religion in the Context of Science.Jan-Olav Henriksen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):485-503.
    Religion must be seen as the result of the learning processes of humanity, as they manifest themselves in human interaction with and experience of reality. Such interaction depends on knowledge that provides the basis for practices of orientation and transformation. Religion as part of human culture provides resources for identifying lasting significance of experience in light of what appears to be ultimate conditions for a good and flourishing life. Thus, it is also possible to understand human distinctiveness as manifest in (...)
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  42.  19
    Responsible Agency: A Human Distinctive?Jennifer A. Herdt - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):504-521.
    While agent responsibility appears to be one of the clearest examples of a human distinctive, practices of holding responsible are bound up with social expectations and emotional reactions, many of which are shared with other social animals. This essay attends to the ways in which what Peter Strawson first identified as the reactive emotions, including notably anger, resentment, and indignation, are key to making sense of both the shared and distinctive features of responsible human agency. Like human beings, other social (...)
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  43.  15
    The Cumulative Quality of Culture Explains Human Uniqueness.Cristine Legare - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):443-453.
    What explains the unique features of human culture? Culture is not uniquely human, but human culture is uniquely cumulative. Cumulative culture is a product of our collective intelligence and is supported by cognitive processes and learning strategies that enable people to acquire, transform, and transmit information and technologies within and across generations. Technological and social innovations are currently driving unprecedented changes in cultural complexity and diversity. Innovation is a cognitively and socially complex, multistep process that typically requires (cumulative) cultural learning (...)
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  44.  5
    Human Becoming in an Age of Science, Technology, and Faith. By Philip Hefner. Edited by Jason P. Roberts and Mladen Turk. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Fortress Academics. 2022. 245 pages. $100.00. (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Victoria Lorrimar - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):556-557.
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  45.  15
    “The Mystery of Human Uniqueness”: Common Sense, Science, and Judaism.Alan Mittleman - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):471-484.
    Uniqueness implies singularity, incomparability. Nonetheless, as applied to everything within the human lifeworld, including ourselves, uniqueness is relativized. This becomes clear in the tension between “commonsensical” and “scientific” perspectives on the human. Our commonsense approach posits that human beings are unique among animals—unique because of our properties, most especially our consciousness, as well as because of our significance and value. From a scientific perspective, however, the uniqueness of the human—if it can be affirmed at all—is possibly a matter of degree, (...)
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  46.  9
    Science and Catholicism in Argentina (1750–1960): A Study on Scientific Culture, Religion, and Secularisation in Latin America. By MiguelDe Asúa. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter. 2022. 365 pages. $118.99. (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Jaume Navarro - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):559-561.
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  47.  9
    Human Uniqueness.Arthur C. Petersen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):313-314.
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  48.  10
    Reinventing Society with Philosophy, Religion, and Science. Edited by Neil Wollman and Carolyn J. Love. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2023. 419 pages. £74.99. (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Arthur C. Petersen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):555-556.
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  49.  16
    T&T Clark Handbook of Christian Theology and the Modern Sciences. Edited by John P. Slattery. London/New York: T&T Clark. 2020. 377 pages. £150.00. (Hardcover). £39.99. (Paperback). [REVIEW]Arthur C. Petersen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):554-555.
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  50.  13
    Human Uniqueness: Debates in Science and Theology.Eric Priest - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):384-404.
    In both science and theology, there has been a revolution in our understanding of the nature of human uniqueness. As a background to this Symposium on the subject, a summary is here given of the history of Homo sapiens that is being revealed by fossil, archaeological, and genetic evidence. This is followed by a description of some of the distinctive characteristics of humans that have been proposed in the past, such as language, tool use, self-consciousness, art, and culture. Ideas from (...)
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  51.  12
    Introduction to Symposium on “Just How Special Are Humans?”.Eric Priest, Joseph Henrich, Celia Deane-Drummond & Mary Ann Meyers - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):378-383.
    We here introduce the Zygon Symposium on “Just How Special Are Humans?” This collection is based on a symposium at Harvard University in 2020 that brought together world leaders on the study of human nature from science, theology, and philosophy. They shared their research and perceptive insights on this key topic of great contemporary interest from quite different disciplines and viewpoints. The present Symposium contains articles further developed from the presentations, as well as two additional contributions from experts specializing in (...)
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  52.  20
    Human Uniqueness From a Biological Point of View.David Reich - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):454-470.
    This article seeks to provide some genetic perspectives on the question “Just How Special Are Humans—Really?” It begins with an introduction to how genetic variation can provide information about the past. It continues by discussing two ways in which genetic analyses has, on multiple occasions, shown that humans are less unique than we thought we are. We have a cognitive bias to toward thinking we are special. Our species has colonized an ecological niche not exploited by any other species on (...)
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  53.  22
    Disposable Bodies, Disabled Minds, and Christian Hope: Resurrection in Light of Transhumanism and Intellectual Disability.Andrew Sloane - 2023 - Zygon 58 (2):340-357.
    This piece brings into critical conversation Christian resurrection hope, virtual versions of transhumanism, and intellectual disability and demonstrates that Christian resurrection provides a more cogent hope for people with severe intellectual disabilities than transhumanism. I argue that transhumanist virtual futures are theologically problematic, as bodily resurrection is neither required nor desirable. It is particularly problematic for people with severe intellectual disabilities given the way they would be excluded from these futures. Disability theology also raises issues with the traditional notions of (...)
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  54.  9
    “‘We' and ‘they'”: Why Must We Engage in Cross‐Cultural Conversation?Anindita N. Balslev - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):109-123.
    This article contains the principal ideas that I presented in four different sessions at the IRAS 2022 conference, on the theme “‘We' and ‘They’: Cross-Cultural Conversation on Identity.” Focusing on the central topic, the article begins with (i) the contents of my opening lecture; followed by (ii) a broad outline of the concerns discussed in my book, Cross-Cultural Conversation: A New Way of Learning, intertwined with glimpses of the intellectual journey that led me to CCC, delivered in the Book-discussion session; (...)
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  55.  23
    Adolescent Identity Formation Versus Spiritual Transformation.John Calvin Chatlos - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):156-182.
    Since 1950, Erik Erikson's emphasis on ego-identity formation as the crucial task of adolescence has been the framework for almost all subsequent research and programming to empower positive adolescent development. Chatlos has recently described a “Framework of Spirituality” and contends that identity formation significantly interferes with and should occur after a spiritual transformational process for optimal and more meaningful adolescent development. This article reviews the current status of research in identity formation, including religious and spiritual identity formation contributing to his (...)
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  56.  10
    Human Technological Enhancement and Theological Anthropology. By VictoriaLorrimar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2022. 356 pp. $120.00. (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Ron Cole-Turner - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):305-306.
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  57.  29
    Interpretation Neutrality for Quantum Theology.Elise Crull - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):246-264.
    Within contemporary scientific and science-adjacent communities, it is generally accepted that quantum physics is our best theory. For this reason, it is understandable—and laudable—that scholars interested in questions at the intersection of science and theology wish to meaningfully engage with this physics. Recent work in foundations of physics has, however, importantly altered the landscape of quantum theory; in this article, my goal is to introduce these advances, then make an argument within this new landscape that I hope will be useful (...)
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  58.  10
    Spirituality and Technology: A Threefold Philosophical Reflection.Gabriel Fernandez-Borsot - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):6-22.
    Despite the prominent role that technology plays in twenty‐first‐century societies, the intersections between spirituality and technology have been poorly analyzed. This article develops a cross‐reflection between these two key anthropological aspects, using a philosophical approach that structures the analysis along three classical categories: transcendence, immanence, and relationality. Drawing from ideas of philosophers, such as Heidegger and Merleau‐Ponty, the article sheds light on problematic aspects of technology that spirituality helps identify and for which it suggests solutions. Symmetrically, the analysis shows commonly (...)
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  59.  20
    Quantum Theology Beyond Copenhagen: Taking Fundamentalism Literally.Mark Harris - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):183-202.
    Theological engagement with quantum physics has, to this day, been dominated by the Copenhagen interpretation. However, philosophers and physicists working in the “quantum foundations” field have largely abandoned the Copenhagen view on account of what is widely seen as its troublesome antirealism. Other metaphysical approaches have come to the fore instead, which often take a strongly realist flavor, such as de Broglie-Bohm, or Everett's “Many-Worlds” interpretation. In the spirit of recent quantum foundations work, this article introduces a collection of studies (...)
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  60.  20
    Naturalism and the Categories “Science” and “Religion”: A Response to Josh Reeves.Peter Harrison - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):98-108.
    This article is a response to Josh Reeve's “A Defense of Science and Religion.” I begin with the disclaimer that this was not solely my project but a joint enterprise. A common commitment of participants was to make the disciplines of history and theology central to the discussion and explore what new possibilities follows for the field of science and religion. I then address Reeves's two central concerns: first that I am too dismissive of the categories “science” and “religion.” In (...)
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  61.  11
    What Makes a Quantum Physics Belief Believable? Many‐Worlds Among Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast.Shaun C. Henson - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):203-224.
    An extraordinary, if circumscribed, positive shift has occurred since the mid-twentieth century in the perceived status of Hugh Everett III's 1956 theory of the universal wave function of quantum mechanics, now widely called the Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI). Everett's starkly new interpretation denied the existence of a separate classical realm, contending that the experimental data can be seen as presenting a state vector for the whole universe. Since there is no state vector collapse, reality as a whole is strictly deterministic. Explained (...)
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  62.  3
    Complex Identity: Genes to God.Carolyn J. Love - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):124-131.
    Unraveling the complex notion of “self” and “other” necessitates a layered approach that explores biology, namely genetics; philosophy, namely event phenomenology; and culture, namely religion. This essay examines (1) the latest paradigm shift occurring in the genetic sciences due to the increased knowledge of epigenetic effects on gene expression and how our DNA functions in concert with the cellular apparatus, the body, and the environment; (2) the incorporation of relationality into a philosophical understanding of self; and (3) finally, what religion (...)
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  63.  17
    Faith, Science, and Nonreligious Identity Formation Among Male Kenyan Youth.Kevin Muriithi Ndereba - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):45-63.
    The faith and science dialogue has received scholarly attention in the recent past. Within the African landscape at large, the underlying assumption has been that Africans are religious. However, there has been a rising cohort of Africans who are increasingly identified as nonreligious or atheist or agnostic. This research presents a qualitative analysis of the sociocultural factors that affect or influence these minority identities within a pluralistic African context, exploring their emergence and diversities within the African context, with a specific (...)
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  64.  32
    Identity and the Brain: The Biological Basis of Our Self.Andrew B. Newberg - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):132-155.
    This article reviews the neuroscientific understanding of the self and personal identity, focusing on various elements of inclusivity and exclusivity as well as engaging religious and spiritual perspectives. We will also consider how the identity is comprised of biological, social, and ideological or spiritual aspects, and how they are interconnected. We will consider how the brain helps us to construct and maintain our representation of the self and what happens when we have self-transcendent experiences. Such an evaluation will have implications (...)
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  65.  3
    Quantum Theology and “‘We’ and ‘They’”.Arthur C. Petersen - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):3-5.
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  66.  24
    Is There a Distinctive Quantum Theology?Wilson C. K. Poon & Tom C. B. McLeish - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):265-284.
    Quantum mechanics (QM) is a favorite area of physics to feature in “science and religion” discussions. We argue that this is at least partly because the arcane results of QM can be deployed to make big theological claims by the linguistic sleight of hand of “register switching”—sliding imperceptibly from technical into everyday language using the same vocabulary. We clarify the discussion by deploying the formal mapping of QM into classical statistical mechanics (CSM) via the mathematical device of “Wick rotation.” This (...)
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  67.  30
    The Many Worries of Many Worlds.Emily Qureshi-Hurst - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):225-245.
    Theological engagement with quantum mechanics has been dominated by the Copenhagen interpretation, failing to reflect the fact that philosophers and physicists alike are increasingly moving away from the Copenhagen interpretation in favor of other approaches. One such approach, Hugh Everett's so-called Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI), is being taken increasingly seriously. As the MWI's credibility grows, it is imperative that metaphysicians, theologians, and philosophers of religion engage with its ideas and their implications. This article does just that, setting out some implications (...)
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  68.  9
    A Defense of Science and Religion: Reflections on Peter Harrison's “After Science and Religion” Project.Josh A. Reeves - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):79-97.
    Recent scholars have called into question the categories “science” and “religion” because they bring metaphysical and theological assumptions that theologians should find problematic. The critique of the categories “science” and “religion” has above all been associated with Peter Harrison and his influential argument in The Territories of Science and Religion (2015). This article evaluates the philosophical conclusions that Harrison draws from his antiessentialist philosophy in the two volumes associated with his “After Science and Religion Project.” I argue that Harrison's project (...)
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  69.  20
    The Entangled Trinity, Quantum Biology, and Deep Incarnation.Ernest L. Simmons - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):285-304.
    By utilizing the concept of quantum decoherence, augmented by the novel theory of quantum Darwinism, to understand the transition from the quantum to the classical worlds, the scaling up of the concept of quantum entanglement2018 to the biological level offers a fascinating metaphor for the presence of the creative spirit in nature and the “flesh” of Incarnation. This in turn provides helpful theological metaphors for articulating divine presence at the level of life in theistic evolution, partially addressing the issue of (...)
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  70.  19
    Marginalization and Transcendence in Transhumanism and Minjung Theology.Yong Sup Song & Robert M. Geraci - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):23-44.
    The visibility of transhumanism in pop culture reveals its dramatic advance in twenty-first-century life. The more widespread the movement becomes, the more important it is to consider how transhumanism might be made relevant to global humanity. This article orients technological progress by drawing transhumanism into conversation with minjung theology from Korea. Minjung theology offers global tech culture—and its pursuit of technological salvation—an ethical foundation through attention to Han (an emotion specific to those who suffer from individual, sociopolitical, economic, and cultural (...)
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  71.  16
    God of the Gaps or the God of “Design and Dominion”? Re‐Visiting Newton's Theology.Eugenia Torrance - 2023 - Zygon 58 (1):64-78.
    Starting with Gottfried Leibniz, Isaac Newton's theology has often been caricatured as putting forward a “God of the gaps” argument for God's existence and continued involvement in the world. Peter Harrison has pointed out that this characterization of Newton's theology is “not entirely clear.” A closer look at Newton's letters and the drafts to the Opticks reveals that, rather than arguing God's providential ordering and care over the world, he takes these for granted and is reluctant to specify instances of (...)
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  72.  30
    Embodied Experience in Socially Participatory Artificial Intelligence.Mark Graves - 2023 - Zygon (4):928-951.
    As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes progressively more engaged with society, its shift from technical tool to participating in society raises questions about AI personhood. Drawing upon developmental psychology and systems theory, a mediating structure for AI proto-personhood is defined analogous to an early stage of human development. The proposed AI bridges technical, psychological, and theological perspectives on near-future AI and is structured by its hardware, software, computational, and sociotechnical systems through which it experiences its world as embodied (even for putatively (...)
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