AAR Call for Papers on Transhumanism and Religion


The call for papers for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) is now open with a deadline of 11:59 pm, March 13. You are invited to submit a proposal for the Transhumanism and Religion Group. The AAR annual meeting is November 17-20, 2012 in Chicago. Below are the call and the mission statement of the Transhumanism and Religion Group. If you do not hold AAR membership and would like to submit a proposal as a guest, please go to the following link and follow instructions:


Call for Proposals

This Group welcomes papers on any aspect of transhumanism and religion and seeks perspectives from a variety of religious traditions. Papers may identify and critically evaluate any implicit religious beliefs that might underlie key transhumanist claims and assumptions. For example, are there operative notions of anthropology, soteriology, and eschatology at play in transhumanist quests? Papers might consider how transhumanism challenges religious traditions to develop their own ideas of the human future; in particular, the prospect of human transformation, whether by technological or other means. Papers may provide critical and constructive assessments of an envisioned future that place greater confidence in nanotechnology, robotics, and information technology to achieve virtual immortality and create a superior posthuman species. We welcome feminist analyses and more overtly philosophical critiques of posthuman discourse and encourage original research.


“Transhumanism” or “human enhancement” refers to an intellectual and cultural movement that advocates the use of a variety of emerging technologies. The convergence of these technologies may make it possible to take control of human evolution, providing for the enhancement of human mental and physical abilities deemed desirable and the amelioration of aspects of the human condition regarded as undesirable. These enhancements include the radical extension of healthy human life. If these enhancements become widely available, it 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 Group. We are interested in encouraging and providing a forum for a broad array of input from scholars, including Asian and feminist. For more information, or to be placed on a very occasional mailing list, contact Calvin Mercer at [[email protected]].