The "posthuman" refers to the fact that there is
"a new and growing appreciation for the
plasticity and flexibility of 'human nature'
spurred by discoveries in biotechnology
and virtual, information and communication
Like it or not we humans are changing ourselves. It is going to happen, no it is happening already. We can already replace some organs with manufactured versions. A person can change their gender. Technology continues to expand the range of human senses and performance. It cannot be imagined that this will not continue. Not unless there is a world wide catastrophe casting us back into a dark age and our technical skills forgotten. It is inevitable. Jen's book assumes this and aims to engage it. She informs us that the term "posthuman" is an open one.
"In this book, I argue that these multiple and competing notions of the posthuman currently crystallize around two distinct and promising visions, cyborgs and uploads."She also says,
"If, as N. Katherine Hayles contends, we are at a crucial historical juncture with regard to our emerging posthuman future, such that we bear a moral responsibility in the visioning and construction of our future selves, the stakes are high; theologians must know precisely what is at stake in order to contribute helpfully to the process of fashioning a faithful posthuman future.
The reader may experience some discomfort in thinking about the changes that may and will occur. Time honored notions of what is normal and what is natural and what is human nature will no doubt be questioned and violated. What does this mean for religion and theology? This book aims to clarify the state of things and prepare for and is an example of rational engagement across the boundaries of technology, science and theology.