Mediating Black religious studies, spirituality studies, and liberation theology, Philip Butler explores what might happen if Black people in the United States merged technology and spirituality in their fight towards materializing liberating realities.
The discussions shaping what it means for humans to exist with technology and as part of technology are already underway: transhumanism suggests that any use of technology to augment intellectual, psychological, or physical capability makes one transhuman. In an attempt to encourage Black people in the United States to become technological progenitors as a spiritual act, Butler asks whether anyone has ever been ‘just’ human? Butler then explores the implications of this question and its link to viewing the body as technology.
Re-imagining incarnation as a relationship between vitality, biochemistry, and genetics, the book also takes a critical scientific approach to understanding the biological embodiment of Black spiritual practices. It shows how current and emerging technologies might align with the generative biological states of Black spiritualities in order to concretely disrupt and dismantle oppressive societal structures.
I expect Butler's work will inspire many important conversations ... This work should be read widely. In addition to all practitioners and scholars of transhumanism, Black theology, and philosophy of religion, it will be of interest to many, including those in the fields of cognitive science of religion, critical theory and critical race theory, posthumanism, contemplative studies, new materialisms, and spirituality studies. * Reading Religion * [Black Transhuman Liberation Theology] is full of seminal insights on a variety of subjects, including-in addition to African spirituality and black liberation theology-the impact of specific technologies ranging from cell phones to neurophysiology on human and societal development and values. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. * CHOICE * [This book] promotes a fresh approach towards the discourse of Black liberation theology. . . . It directs Black liberation theology through a different path, advancing Black transhuman liberation theology as a concept that pays less attention to the past, emphasizing instead, empowerment and liberation possibilities in the future by combining technology and spirituality. * Dulcie Dixon McKenzie, Director of the Centre for Black Theology, The Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Foundation, UK * Black Transhuman Liberation Theology is a compelling, insightful and visionary book. With a deep commitment to interdisciplinary work, Butler offers a truly innovative theology for the 21st century. This is a must read for anyone interested in liberation theologies, critical race theories, Africana studies, spiritualism and philosophy of religion. * Santiago Slabodsky, Co-Chair Liberation Theologies Unit at the American Academy of Religion Florence and Robert Kaufman Chair in Jewish Studies, Hofstra University, USA * Dr. Butler's revolutionary essay offers the first transhuman-liberationist response to "the use of the Black body to carve out the basics of American science." Reconceiving technology as a spiritual exercise, he spells out a new vision for Black biotech employed in service of Black life. In an age of ubiquitous technology, the resulting "spirituality of revolt" is indeed the next chapter for Black liberationist theology. * Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology, USA * By weaving together spirituality and technology, Butler offers an interdisciplinary and innovative techno-theological exploration that takes seriously the material promises and pitfalls of black bodies in an increasingly technocratic age. Black Transhuman Liberation Theology takes black theology seriously while also pushing it in new and different directions. * Biko Mandela Gray, Assistant Professor of American Religion, Syracuse University, USA * A bold attempt at developing a black transhumanist liberation theology. The work contains much creativity, offering an inter-disciplinary approach to the challenges presented by crises we face as a culture today. * Journal of the Oxford Graduate Theological Society *