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The Gift of Creativity: An Approach to a Theology of Technology

LUNN, DAVID (2015) The Gift of Creativity: An Approach to a Theology of Technology. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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The argument of this thesis is that technological creativity is a gift from God to humanity through which we are invited corporately to share imaginatively in God’s creative activity in a manner appropriate to the nature and purposes of God. A demonstration of the ubiquity of creativity in aviation technology precedes an examination of theological approaches to technology, using the categories of Richard Niebuhr’s ‘Christ and Culture’, which reveals a lack of engagement with human creativity. This creativity, shown to be rooted in human imagination and a characteristic of all human beings, is part of the image of God in which human beings are created according to the Biblical accounts of creation in Genesis. The God who is imaged is shown to be loving and permissive in creation, inviting created partners to contribute, rather than prescriptive and violent. The Trinitarian character of God is also shown to be the origin of communal, and not just individual, human creativity. An exploration of the failure of technology to live up to this vision affirms that there is no inherent dark side to God’s creative gift to humanity as the problems come about through a mix of lack of knowledge, sin, and the will-to-power. An examination of a particular complex technological artefact, the city, leads to an argument that human technology is significant for the eternal purposes of God. Although a distorted understanding of the ‘image of God’, in which human beings become the domineering focus of creation, underlies the development of modern technology it is still the object of God’s redeeming and transforming power because of God’s love for and commitment to the whole creation. Technological creativity still has a place in God’s creation and will have a transformed place in God’s new creation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Keywords:God; theology; technology; creativity; creation; new creation;
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:12 May 2015 14:39

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