chapter  10
16 Pages

Is transhumanism a religion?

WithBoris Rähme

Due to its close association with technoscientific research and innovation it is sometimes claimed that transhumanism is an inherently naturalistic, and therefore non- (or even anti-) religious paradigm. The ideas of enhancement and human-machine convergence, which play centre stage in transhumanism, would seem to draw exclusively upon human ingenuity, creativity and engineering capabilities. At the same time, however, scholars of religion point out that transhumanist discourses and narratives often use vocabularies and imageries that have their historical roots in religious traditions, and some have taken this observation to constitute evidence for the claim that transhumanism is a (new) religion. This chapter reviews some strands of the controversial debate on whether transhumanism should be considered a religion. Contextualizing the discussion within broader debates about secularization and the postsecular, it is argued that, although open to religious interpretations, transhumanism is not a religion.