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What does it mean to exist in complex relationships with machines? What insights can be offered to our understandings of these relationships by the theologically significant theme of ‘love’? What critical assessments can be made of our multiple uses of technologies in shaping our futures, by reflecting on our pasts?

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> Conference: Care and Machines
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Disquiet over the prevalence of social and economic individualism has a long history. In a world of mobile Capital and increasingly mobile people, communities of common tradition and locality appear to be under threat from the advent of a fragmented market society. Are these complaints against individualism justified? And crucially, how should Christians respond to them? Digging down into the substance of these questions, this project will consider the theological, liturgical and scriptural resources Christians have for understanding the notion of individualism in relation to issues of education, public life and the formation of democratic citizenship.

Political Theology has acquired a range of meanings today, originating from but not restricted to a European academic context.

From a political perspective, Political Theology is associated with an anti-liberal view of politics that criticises liberal democracy by using certain autocratic elements preserved in monotheistic religion that confer ‘sacred’ power on rulers. It argues, following Carl Schmitt, that a corrupted liberalism has eroded the religious or metaphysical basis of society. Moreover, because such a basis is necessary, liberal society thereby imperils itself and so requires a ‘return’ to its religious or metaphysical origins.

From a theological perspective, Political Theology is distinguished by the effort to relate in an explicit fashion discourses about God to the organization of bodies—natural, social and imagined—in time and space. Operating across and between Christian traditions and denominations, various approaches can be identified: (1) the autonomy of theology from politics; (2) liberation, feminist, queer and postcolonial theologies; and (3) a concern for the ‘politics’ embedded in doctrines, scriptural narratives and religious practices. This Political Theology often seeks to strengthen the moral values underpinning the liberal, democratic culture of our contemporary society and transform these values towards a more inclusive justice.

Most recently, these various meanings have interacted in ways that have produced new enquiries. The critical assessment of liberal democracy has been conducted from the standpoint of the ‘politics’ intrinsic to Christianity. The particularism of the nation state has been criticised from the perspective of Christianity’s universalism. The bodies with which Political Theology engages has been extended to include the non-human.

Moreover, a comparative Political Theology is just beginning in which the religious plurality of modern societies, and its consequences for public discourses and spaces, is being evaluated.

Through their research projects, publications and teaching, LTI and CRPC offer unparalleled opportunities for study and advanced research in Political Theology: to clarify and develop its meanings and pursue novel and pioneering lines of enquiry.