Public Theologies of Technology and Presence

The Public Theologies of Technology and Presence program gathers and funds a cohort of leading scholars of religion, theologians, and journalists for their work addressing a pressing concern of contemporary life: The ways in which technologies reshape human relationships and alter how people are or are not “present” with each other. The three-year program launched in 2018 and is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Over recent decades and continuing at warp speed, new technologies are radically reshaping human relationships. These shifts have profound implications both for individuals and for the webs of relationships in which they participate. Scholars of religion and theologians, from across the traditions, are ideally situated to address this issue of great public concern. Public Theologies of Technology and Presence supports this work through an ambitious agenda of research projects, conferences, popular and scholarly publishing, active engagements with Silicon Valley technologists, the development of models for integrating the subject into university and theological institution curricula, the publication of a digital forum, white papers, and public talks.

The grantees’ research and publication projects draw on the study and practice of many different religions— Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Africana religions, among others—to address cutting-edge technologies such as cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, human augmentation, surveillance technologies, video games, and social media. The projects offer new and exciting insights into technologies’ impacts on human relationships, including on friendships, introspective abilities, sexual relationships, moral attentions, and capacities for relational authenticity.

Address inquiries to Program Director Dr. Steven Barrie-Anthony: stevenba@shin-ibs.edu, (510) 500-9722.

Stephen T. Asma

Professor of Philosophy, Columbia College Chicago

Amy Sue Bix

Professor, Department of History, Iowa State University

Sheila Briggs

Associate Professor, Departments of Religion and Gender Studies, University of Southern California

Ilia Delio, OSF

Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology, Villanova University

Gregory Price Grieve

Professor and Head, Religious Studies Department, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Margarita Simon Guillory

Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Boston University

Kevin Healey

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of New Hampshire

Natasha Heller

Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

Noreen Herzfeld

Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professor of Science and Religion, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict

Beverley McGuire

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Stuart Ray Sarbacker

Associate Professor, School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, Oregon State University

Devin Singh

Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Dartmouth College

R. John Williams

Associate Professor, Departments of English and Film and Media Studies, Yale University

Liz Kineke

Producer, CBS Religion & Culture Series

Justin Peters

Correspondent for Slate, freelance journalist, and author

Sigal Samuel

Global Religion Editor, The Atlantic

Anthony Pinn

Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, Department of Religion, Rice University

Robert Orsi

Grace Craddock Nagle Chair of Catholic Studies, Northwestern University

Diane Winston

Knight Chair in Media and Religion, University of Southern California

Kathryn Lofton

Professor, Departments of Religious Studies, American Studies, and History, Yale University

Jonathan Sheehan

Professor, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley

Dale Wright

David B. and Mary H. Gamble Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of Asian Studies, Occidental College

Kate Dailey

Managing Editor, Vox

Caitlin Roper

Special Projects Editor, New York Times Magazine

Bob Sipchen

Journalist, author, and Associate Professor NTT of Writing and Rhetoric, Occidental College

Audrey Cooper

Editor-in-Chief, San Francisco Chronicle

Steven Barrie-Anthony

Program Director, Public Theologies of Technology and Presence