Surrogate, Partner, or Tool: How Autonomous Should Technology Be?

Tuesday, September 15th 2020, 5:00pm
CTNS Remote Forum,

Please join us for the first-ever online CTNS Public Forum:


Surrogate, Partner, or Tool:  How Autonomous Should Technology Be?


Dr. Noreen Herzfeld


We have traditionally thought of technology as tools we build and use.  However, the advent of Alexa, autonomous vehicles, autonomous weapons, and other forms of AI makes modern technology more partner or surrogate than tool.  How autonomous do we want our technologies to be?  How will these technologies change or role in the world and our relationships to God and to one another?


Noreen Herzfeld is the Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professor of Science and Religion at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict.  She holds degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from The Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Theology from The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.  Herzfeld is the author of In Our Image:  Artificial Intelligence and the Human Spirit (Fortress, 2002), Technology and Religion:  Remaining Human in a Co-Created World (Templeton, 2009), and The Limits of Perfection in Technology, Religion, and Science (Pandora, 2010).  


Herzfeld is a research associate at ZRS Koper and the Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa.  She is co-founder and writer for the Avon Hills Salon at


The forum will take place Tuesday, September 15 at 5pm (PDT). The discussion will be moderated by Robert John Russell, with the lecture followed by a brief question and answer period.  Please email to register.  Confirmation emails with Zoom link will be sent on or after September 1.  We look forward to seeing you there!