Alumni of the Year
Peters Named Alumnus of the Year
Alumnus of the Year Address: "Can We Enhance the Imago Dei? A Theological Assessment of Genetic Alteration, Pharmacological Enhancement, Nanotechnology, and Transhumanism"
Thursday, October 28, 2010, at 4:00 p.m.
Swift Lecture Hall
Reception to follow
The Board of Trustees of the Baptist Theological Union has named Theodore F. (Ted) Peters the Divinity School's Alumnus of the Year for 2011. Peters, M.A. 1970, Ph.D. 1973, is Professor of Systematic Theology at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California.
Peters' areas of interest include systematic theology, science and religion, the evolution controversy, genetics and society, and bioethics. He is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Peters received his B.A from Michigan State University and his M.Div. from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.
He was awarded the Joseph A. Sittler Award in Theological Scholarship from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in 2007 and was the 2009 Martin E. Marty Professor of Religion and the Academy at St. Olaf College.
The author of numerous books, Peters is currently coeditor (with Robert John Russell) of the journal Theology and Science (published by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley) and served as Editor-in-Chief of Dialog, A Journal of Theology, from 1993 to 2007. Peters also serves as Director of the Institute of Theology and Ethics
His books include GOD--The World's Future; Systematic Theology for a Postmodern Era; God as Trinity; and Sin: Radical Evil in Soul and Society. He has received four Templeton Book prizes, including for Evolution: From Creation to New Creation (with Martinez Hewlett) and Playing God? Genetic Determinism and Human Freedom.
The Alumnus of the Year award recognizes outstanding achievement by graduates of the Divinity School, and has been awarded annually since 1947. Past recipients include Peter Paris, Lisa Cahill, Robert Franklin Jr., and Jaroslav Pelikan.
Peters's lecture will address theological concerns that arise from recent genetic and technological advances: If 'techno-visionaries'plan to take control of the next stage of human evolution (through guided changes in the human genome, cognitive and physical enhancements through drugs and nanotech implants, uploading human minds into computers, and crossing a threshold where our more intelligent progeny will take the responsibility for creating a post-human race that will supplant the homo sapiens we have come to know), the theologian must ask: would such advances in human intelligence and prowess affect in any way our status before God, the imago dei?