'Let Us Make ROBOT in Our Image, According to Our Likeness': An Examination of Robots in Several Science Fiction Films through the Christian Concept of the 'Image of God'

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The paper examines representations of robots in several films: Bicentennial Man (1999), Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) and Chappie (2015) in the light of the Christian concept of imago Dei. According to Victoria Nelson, in the last 50 years artificial intelligence in pop-culture works has frequently been presented as holiness. Her interpretation can be linked with the outcome of research of scholars, who revealed that the Euro-American view on technology is deeply rooted in Christian thought. The author’s main line of argument is embedded in Noreen Herzfeld’s observation, which demonstrated the striking similarities between the relational approach to research into artificial intelligence and the relational interpretation of the notion of imago Dei by Karl Barth. Herzfeld suggests that the robots in the examined films can be viewed through a relational approach to the concept of imago Dei, which entails a relational definition of intelligence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalStudia Religiologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Herzfeld, Noreen L, 1956-
  • Barth, Karl, 1886-1968
  • Robots
  • Science fiction
  • Image of God
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Peer reviewed

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