Robot Theology: On Theological Engagement with Robotics and Religious Robots

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Abstract

As robots increasingly find their way into the various spheres of human life, the question of religious robots becomes relevant. This article examines from a Catholic-Christian theological perspective whether robots can be used for religious purposes, and it asks how this may be done and what issues are important to consider. In addition, the study contributes to research on the theological engagement with robotics. It is argued that the use of religious robotics differs significantly depending on the specific religion. From a Christian perspective, the use of religious robotics is fundamentally plausible, especially since a wide variety of entities are used as religious media or representations of the divine. However, the use of religious robotics will ultimately be decided by different concepts (e.g. human, life), religious doctrines and culturally transmitted and subjective attitudes. This article places particular focus on the design of religious robotics. It becomes clear that the reasons for accepting religious technology do not lie in the technology itself but in phenomenological preferences and various time- and culture-dependent ideas and concepts. It is likely that as robotics rapidly advances and our relationship with it develops, the use of religious robots also will change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlexa, wie hast du's mit der Religion?
Subtitle of host publicationTheologische Zugänge zu Technik und Künstlicher Intelligenz
EditorsAnna Puzio, Nicole Kunkel, Hendrik Klinge
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherWBG
Pages95–113
Number of pages19
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-534-40783-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-534-40782-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Publication series

NameTheology and Artificial Intelligence
PublisherWBG Academic
Volume1

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