The capacity to invent, construct and use technical artefacts is arguably an essential feature of human beings. Technology represents one of the central pillars of modern society and increasingly dominates the social sphere. In spite of technology’s deep impact on human lifeworlds, as well as on different kinds of natural environments, critical analysis of the deeper driving forces of technology and their intersection with religious beliefs, alongside ethical implications related to environmental questions, frequently falls short. For example, theologians have habitually dealt explicitly with bioethical issues associated with technology, often dealing with general questions related to health or medicine, or specific biotechnological sciences such as genetics.1 The concern of such texts is deliberately a narrowly conceived one, namely, how far do specific technologies raise important ethical issues for concern for those writing from an explicitly theological perspective. Some theologians, such as Philip Hefner, have endorsed rather than criticised technological developments.2 The religious, theological and sociological significance of biotechnology’s impact on the broader natural world is also addressed in other volumes.3 Sigurd Bergmann and Dieter Gerten weave analysis of technological issues into their discussion of dangerous

environmental and climate change.4 Other theologians, such as George Pattison, have been more interested in tackling broader questions about the significance of technology in terms of its cultural ramifications on society as such.5 Others, such as Brent Waters, have been concerned to situate technology in the context of wider cultural discussions about postmodern philosophy and the posthuman condition.6 Elaine Graham’s focus is on the particular popular portrayals of the posthuman as aliens and the significance of what has come to be termed transhuman philosophy.7 Peter Scott’s work on theological anthropology, on the other hand, offers an original contribution to the field in that it raises important socio-political questions about technology where humanity is living in what he terms the postnatural condition, one where prior ancient assumptions about the natural world are no longer guaranteed or secure.8 At the same time, Scott acknowledges that generally contemporary humanity has resisted acknowledging sufficiently how human relationships are deeply embedded in the natural world. Religious studies scholars and philosophers such as Willem Drees have dealt with issues of trust between those who are religious and modern technological developments, but he does not engage critically with the implicit religious aspects of technology.9 Albert Borgmann’s book Power Failure traces in more detail the implicit religious aspects of technology and the place of Christianity in debates about technology, but it does not deal adequately with technology’s intersection with the natural environment.10 Brian Brock’s book Christian Ethics in a Technological Age11 engages the challenge of technology from philosophical and implicit religious perspectives and sets this up in contrast with a Christian view of material culture as creation, but again, fails to address

practical environmental issues. Jay Newman offers a critique of those who argue that religion is necessarily anti-technological, but his work does not reflect current eco-critical thinking on technology or engage more recent technologies or address environmental issues.12 Sigurd Bergmann tackles religious aspects of technology in his book Religion, Space and the Environment, resisting simplistic dualisms between religion and the spaces and places of the natural and cultural landscape, while addressing important issues about the implicit religious face of technology.13 Bronislaw Szerszynski’s monograph Nature, Technology and the Sacred comes closest to the ethos of this volume in that it considers implicitly religious aspects of technology while paying specific attention to the natural world as such.14