Books  |    |  July 15, 2020

Theology and Westworld

Book edited by Juli Gittinger and Shayna Sheinfeld.
Published by Fortress Academic.
177 pages.

In the first two seasons of the HBO series Westworld, human guests pay exorbitant fees to spend time among cybernetic Hosts—partially sentient AI robots—and live out often violent fantasies. In Theology and Westworld, scholars from a range of disciplines within religious studies examine the profound questions that arise when the narrative of Westworld interacts with the study of religion. From transhumanism and personhood to morality and divinity, this book contributes to, confounds, and challenges ideas that are found in the study of religion and philosophy. Taken together, the chapters further our understanding of what it means to live in a world where the hard questions of human existence are explored through the medium of popular culture.

Table of Contents

  • Consuming Westworld: Facilitating the Robotics and AI Discussion through Science Fiction — Jaime Wright
  • Techno-Transcendence and Artificial Rapture — Olivia Belton
  • For the Rest of Time They Heard the Drum — Jacob Boss
  • A Comparative Inquiry into the Real — Kristin Johnston Largen
  • Will Robots Too Be in the Image of God? Artificial Consciousness and Imago Dei in WestworldMarius Dorobantu
  • On Idolatry and Empathy: An Orthodox Christian Response to the Victimization Fantasies of WestworldDavid K. Goodin
  • Rethinking the Maze: Africana Religions, Somatic Memory, and the Journey to Consciousness — Amanda Furiasse
  • Exile, the Remnant, and a Promised Land without a God — Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.
  • “And behold, a black horse”: Heaven, Hell, and Biblical Eschatology in WestworldTony Degouveia

About the Editors

  • Juli Gittinger (PhD Religious Studies, McGill University) is a lecturer and program coordinator for religion at Georgia College.
  • Shayna Sheinfeld (PhD Religious Studies, McGill University) is honorary research scholar at the Sheffield Institute of Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS), University of Sheffield.