Theology and Technology: the adventus approach

Medium has an interview with Michael Burdett on theology and technology. Burdett explains some of the theological implications of technology and why it is important to have a dialogue with transhumanism. What I like the most about the interview, is the idea of an adventus approach towards technology. The following quote will clarify this a bit, but there is more to read in the interview:

Adventus describes how God breaks into our present revealing that He is the God of the past, present and indeed the future. Adventus is the claim that all futures are God’s future and that he holds the power to direct His creation and its history in ways He sees fit, no matter what might seem probable to us at the time.

I see a parallel between how Burdett develops adventus, and Flemish theologian Lieven Boeve‘s use of interruption. Both give prominence to God’s actions in history, and the unexpected, unpredictable ways in which God acts in history to open ways to the future.

As a teacher, I think this is an idea to cherish. We often tend, especially in education I think, to assume that we need to master the future. That’s not just a matter of wanting to predict the future, but, moreover, of a desire to control the future, to set boundaries on what the outcomes of our actions – how and what we teach – can be.

I am convinced that this desire in education to control a child’s development needs to be tempered by the awareness that every human being is a human becoming, marked by interruptions. In other words, I think that we need to realise that, in education at least, we can never have the final say in how things work out. At some point, we need to trust “that all futures are God’s future.”

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