African theological perspectives on intersubjective identity

In conversation with developments in Strong Artificial Intelligence




Strong Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, African theological anthropology, intersubjective identity, AI, Theological Anthropology, African Theology


Developments in Strong Artificial Intelligence (AI) raise important questions about human identity. Of particular interest is how AI challenges the idea that human identity can be collapsed, without remainder, into the individual. In African theological anthropology there is an emphasis upon intersubjective relationality as a key aspect in the formation and understanding of human identity and uniqueness. This article explores the intersections of some of the claims of Strong AI in relation to some southern African notions of relational identity. This article argues that Strong AI invites us to reconsider some dominant individualized approaches to theological anthropology in relation to the doctrine of creation. It does so by decentring the locus of theological reflection from the individual human person and invites some reflection on what it might mean for theology if forms of AI begin to reflect on their own subjectivity, creation, and broader relationships with human and non-human creation.

Author Biography

Dion Angus Forster, Systematic Theology and Ethics (public theology), Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University

Professor in Systematic Theology and Ethics with a focus on Public Theology

Director of the Beyers Naude Center for Public Theology

Member of the Executive of the American Academy of Religion Wesley Studies Group






Special Collection (TSSA 2023)