We Have Never Been Gods
Transcendence, Contingency and the Affirmation of Hybridity
Keywords:hybridity, doctrine of creation, creatio ex nihilo, imago dei
This article offers a theological response to the postmodern affirmation of hybridity, that is, the ‘mixing up’ of nature and humanity by technology. Drawing on the doctrine of creation, specifically the interpretation of creation as creatio ex nihilo, it argues that Christianity—contrary to either its instinctual aversion to or learned fascination with technology—should accept the reality of hybridity. Furthermore, it is argued that the concept of imago dei can be extended to encompass such hybridity. Refusing Elaine Graham’s turn to immanence in her recent work (Graham 2002), the theme of creatio ex nihilo is further explored by reference to transcendence and
contingency. The article concludes that transcendence and contingency offer a theological context for the consideration of hybridity. This context is practical: concerned primarily with the distribution of God’s goodness through hybridity and hybrid practices, and with human participation in that distribution.
Bloch, Ernst 1995 Principle of Hope. II (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell).
Butler, Christopher 2002 Postmodernism (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Burrell, David 1986 Knowing the Unknowable God (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press).
Di Noia, J. 1999 ‘Response to Robert Jenson’s “Systematic Theology’’’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 1.1: 99-104.
Dupré, Louis 1993 Passage to Modernity: An Essay in the Hermeneutics of Nature and Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press).
Graham, Elaine 2002 Representations of the Post/Human: Monsters, Aliens and Others in Popular Culture (Manchester: Manchester University Press).
Gunton, Colin 1991 ‘Trinity, Ontology and Anthropology: Towards the Renewal of the Doctrine of the Imago Dei’, in Christoph Schwöbel and Colin E. Gunton (eds.), Persons, Divine and Human (Edinburgh: T & T Clark): 47-61.
Gutiérrez, Gustavo 1974 A Theology of Liberation (London: SCM Press).
Hauerwas, Stanley, and Joel Shuman 1997 ‘Cloning the Human Body’, in Ronald Cole-Turner (ed.), Human Cloning: Religious Responses (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press).
Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor Adorno 2002 Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press).
Jenson, Robert 1997 Systematic Theology. I. The Triune God (New York: Oxford University Press).
Keller, Catherine 2003 Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming (London: Routledge).
Kelly, Geffrey B., and F. Burton Nelson (eds.) 1995 A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (San Francisco: Harper).
Lash, Nicholas 1988 Easter in Ordinary: Reflections on Human Experience and the Knowledge of God (London: SCM Press).
Latour, Bruno 1993 We Have Never Been Modern (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf).
Myerson, George 2001 Ecology and the End of Postmodernity (Cambridge: Icon Books).
Pohier, Jacques 1985 God in Fragments (London: SCM Press).
Ruether, Rosemary Radford 1983 Sexism and God-talk (London: SCM Press).
Scott, Peter 1997 ‘Election Blues’, Reviews in Religion and Theology 3: 19-27.
‘Imaging God: Creatureliness and Technology’, New Blackfriars 79.928: 260-74.
‘Christ, Nature, Sociality: Dietrich Bonhoeffer for an Ecological Age’, Scottish Journal of Theology 53.4: 413-30.
A Political Theology of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
‘Creation’, in Peter Scott and William T. Cavanaugh (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Political Theology (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).
Szerszynski, Bronislaw 2003 ‘At Reason’s End: The Inoperative Liturgy of Risk Society’, in Celia Deane-Drummond et al. (eds.), Re-Ordering Nature: Theology, Society and the New Genetics (London & New York: T & T Clark): 202-20.
Thatcher, Margaret 1993 The Downing Street Years (London: Harper Collins).
Westhelle, Vítor 1998 ‘Creation Motifs in the Search for a Vital Space’, in Susan Brooks Thislethwaite and Mary Potter Engel (eds.), Lift Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theologies from the Underside (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books): 146-58.
Williams, Raymond 1976 Keywords (London: Fontana).
Television: Technology and Cultural Form (London: Routledge, 2nd edn).
Williams, Rowan 2000 On Christian Theology (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.