The origins of the Christian Transhumanist Association go back to a small community of people on blogs and online discussion groups in the early parts of 2013. James Ledford's Facebook group was a prominent area of discussion for many of us.
On July 7th, 2013, Micah Redding published a Call for Interest in a Christian Transhumanist Association, and Giulio Prisco publicized it farther. That call led 24 additional people to sign a statement of interest. Those initial names include:
Micah Redding, Lincoln Cannon, James M Ledford, Jason Xu, Jordan Rastrick, Giulio Prisco, Ilia Stambler, Therese Price, Siddartha S Verma, David Hamilton, Thomas Nowell, Micko Hjort, Joe Nickence, Hanno van Tonder, Dorothy Deasy, Snooz, Richard Lyne, Vicky Beeching, John Jastrow, Dan Hegelund, Ryan Hogan, Pace Ellsworth, Andrés Gómez Emilsson, James Michael Moffett, Peter Tovarich
This culminated with the launch of a Christian Transhumanist Association discussion group on November 1, 2013.
Those discussions continued, covering thoughts on purpose and direction, as new people joined in. In March 2014, Christopher Benek joined the discussion, and began offering thoughts and plans.
On April 3, 2014, the group decided to form an organizational task force, and on April 11, 2014, we held a video hangout for those wishing to do the initial legwork to get the group going. Those attending were Micah Redding, Christopher Benek, and Dorothy Deasy.
The group determined that they should file for legal recognition, and began working on that process. The association was formally recognized by the state of Tennessee on May 30, 2014, with board member positions as required by the state: Christopher Benek (chair), Dorothy Deasy (secretary), and Emily Redding (treasurer), and with Micah Redding acting as Executive Director.
That was just state recognition, however, and so the long process of acquiring 501c3 status began.
On July 30, 2014, the first bylaws were adopted. What followed was further paperwork and preparation.
In January 2015, the application for 501c3 status was officially filed with the IRS.
In February 2015, a month-long membership campaign began.
By the end of the month, approximately 14 people had signed up and contributed to the campaign, becoming founding members of the association. Those names include: David Winyard, Jack Zaleski, Josiah Redding, Dan Hegelund, Mark Waser, John Michael Maier, Jonathan Burchel, James Ledford, Lincoln Cannon, Carl Youngblood, R Michael Perry, Jonathan Gunnell.
In March 2015, we held elections for our first Membership Advisory Council, selected by the voting members. Our first membership council consisted of: James Ledford, Lincoln Cannon, Jonathan Gunnell, Dan Hegelund, Ryan Hogan.
On October 6, 2015, the CTA announced its first major donation, with a $1200 gift to the Embrace Infant Warmer project, signifying our commitment to the combination of technology, compassion, and respect for human life.
Also announced was the first CTA Logo, selected by the membership campaign donors.
In December 2015, we received official recognition from the IRS as a 501c3.
Over the next few months, in conjunction with pastors, academics, laypeople, and the Board and the Membership Advisory Council, we composed the Christian Transhumanist Affirmation, which was circulated for public signing on March 30, 2016.
In 2016, a new Membership Advisory Council was elected, consisting of Lincoln Cannon, Amy Henry Gaskin, Jonathan Gunnell, Ryan Hogan, Neal Locke.
There was much discussion about how to continue the evolution of the CTA.
On July 18, 2016, the Board and the Membership Advisory Council were merged, creating an operating board consisting of: Christopher Benek, Dorothy Deasy, Emily Redding, Lincoln Cannon, Amy Henry Gaskin, Jonathan Gunnell, Ryan Hogan, Neal Locke.
In early 2017, Christopher Benek and Dorothy Deasy announced they would step down, to let others serve, and to focus on other activities that could be of help.
This led to the first full board election in March 2017, with 8 seats to be filled.
As members of the Christian Transhumanist Association:
- We believe that God’s mission involves the transformation and renewal of creation, including humanity, and that we are called by Christ to participate in that mission: working against illness, hunger, oppression, injustice, and death.
- We seek growth and progress along every dimension of our humanity: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental—and at all levels: individual, community, society, world.
- We recognize science and technology as tangible expressions of our God-given impulse to explore and discover, and as a natural outgrowth of being created in the image of God.
- We are guided by Jesus’ greatest commands to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength…and love your neighbor as yourself.”
- We believe that the intentional use of technology, coupled with following Christ, will empower us to become more human across the scope of what it means to be creatures in the image of God.
In this way we are Christian Transhumanists.
There are two membership options available:
As a voting member, you participate in electing our Board of Directors, and play a significant role in many of our organizational decisions. Your donation helps us do amazing things like the Embrace Warmer Project, as well as helping to keep up with the small but unavoidable operating costs we take on. Click here to sign up for a one-year voting membership!
FREE - Basic Membership
Join us to show your support, and become involved in the Christian Transhumanist community. Click here to sign up for a free membership.
Micah Redding published The Jesuit Priest Who Helped Create Modern Transhumanism in Blog & News 2016-03-09 21:39:19 -0600
Motherboard just ran my article on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the 1930s Jesuit priest whose ideas helped lead to modern transhumanism.
Earlier this year, the Christian Transhumanist Association made its public debut with an open invitation to membership, and a small fundraising campaign that brought in approximately $1200. Now, as our first substantial financial act, the membership advisory council, the donors, and the board have decided to contribute that money towards a project that combines technology, compassion, and respect for human life.Read more
Micah Redding commented on Humanity+ vs Individualism+ 2015-07-07 13:42:20 -0500Thanks for the comment Samantha! This is exactly what we’re saying: that narrow self-interest is really self-defeating, and that only by maximizing the potential of others can we be truly realized ourselves. We’re not opposed to self-interest in its truest form, we’re opposed to narrow and short-sighted selfishness. I agree that the really important work is in seeing the synthesis of apparent opposites — in seeing, for example, that empathy and progress are not opposed, but are connected.
Interested in exploring the relationship between Christianity, technology, and the future? Members of the association are available to lead classes, congregations, meetup groups, colleges, youth events, and other gatherings. We can conduct lively group discussions, or present stimulating ideas to serious audiences of lay people and academics.
There are lots of possibilities, and we can work with you. Contact us to discuss details!
Micah Redding is a software developer and writer on the subject of human values and technology. He grew up as the son of a Church of Christ preacher, and is a fourth-generation graduate of a small Christian university.
As a software developer, he has worked with startups to tackle challenging business and technical problems, using insights from agile development and the open source community. His work on diverse mobile and web projects led him to create classes, lectures, and podcasts which aim to bridge the worlds of business and technological strategy, and help business leaders work confidently with software development teams.
Micah currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has helped to organize vibrant inter-religious dialogue, leading conversations between Christians, atheists, Buddhists, Baha’is, and Muslims — and challenging Christians to think deeply about the meaning and significance of their faith. He spent several years promoting and working with a large annual charity walk, and has coordinated community events like cutting-edge art festivals and public conversations on technology and the future of the human race.
The Rev. Dr. Christopher J. Benek
The Rev. Dr. Christopher Benek is a pastor serving the largest church in the Presbytery of Tropical Florida - First Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale. Chris earned his Masters degrees in Divinity and Theology (Ethics) from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is also the youngest graduate of the first cohort of the world’s first Doctor of Ministry program focusing on Science and Theology. The program was started at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Currently, Chris is also enrolled at Durham University in England where he is working on a Ph.D. in Theology focusing on the intersection of technological futurism and eschatology. Chris’ religious and social commentary has been featured in many of the world’s most prominent news sources. To connect or learn more about him please visit his website: christopherbenek.com
Dorothy Deasy is a Design Researcher, specializing in contextual ethnography. She has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies, helping to inform strategy, product development and communications. Her studies have explored such varied topics as the future of transportation, the meaning of beauty and the intersection of work and place. She presented a theoretical study investigating “what if conference rooms had never been invented” at EPIC and has published on non-assumptive research for product development. She is a religious transhumanist, serving as Board member and Secretary for both the Mormon Transhumanist Association and the Christian Transhumanist Association. Additionally, she has recently been elected Chief Humanitarian Officer for the Mormon Transhumanist Association, is a contributing writer for IEET and an active fellow for BrighterBrains.org. An advocate for the social justice aspects of transhumanism, she conducted a qualitative research study of empathy in culture, which she presented as a workshop at the Science in Society’s Fourth International Conference in November, 2012. She has a Masters of Applied Theology from Marylhurst University in Portland, OR and her thesis was on spirituality in a transhuman age.
You are signing up to be a full, official voting member of the Christian Transhumanist Association!
As a voting member, you participate in electing our Board of Directors, and play a significant role in many of our organizational decisions. Your donation helps us do amazing things like the Embrace Warmer Project, as well as helping to keep up with the small but unavoidable operating costs we take on.
In addition, your voice and input is always welcome.
Click to the left to sign up for a one-year voting membership!
@micahtredding tweeted link to About Us. 2015-02-05 17:44:16 -0600
We are Christian Transhumanists—Christians who, because of our commitment to our faith, are also Transhumanists.
While many expressions of transhumanism are secular or anti-religious, transhumanism itself is simply a philosophy which states that we can and should use science and technology to make the world (including humanity) better.
We understand our Christian faith to affirm humans as scientific and technological creatures—creatures who create and discover, and who are commissioned to cultivate life, create new things, and renew the world. We further understand our Christian mission to charge us with healing, feeding, and restoring life—activities which provoke us to scientific and medical innovations, just as they have throughout Christian history.
Our purpose can be described as “participating with God in the redemption, reconciliation, and renewal of the world”.
The Christian Transhumanist Affirmation—written in cooperation with clergy, theologians, and people from all kinds of backgrounds—is our attempt to express the outlines of what it means to be a Christian Transhumanist. Read it here.
Statement of Principle and Action—As part of our affirmation, we include a statement of principle and action taken from Jesus himself:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength…and love your neighbor as yourself.
That contains our purpose, our defining focus, and our message. And when it comes to the application of those commands, we see three deep things:
- We focus on that which is transcendent.
- We pursue greater coherence of mentality, physicality, spirituality.
- We seek the betterment of the world.
We think that these three elements define what it is to be a complete human being, and mark out the dimensions along which we should grow. They define what we hope to practice as an organization, what will shape our choices, and what we hope to convey in many ways and forms to the outside world.
Micah Redding donated 2015-01-26 09:07:51 -0600$1,350.00 raisedGOAL: $1,000.00
Help us to create a logo, pick our Advisory Council, and become a voting member of the association.
For your generous donation:
$500 - Platinum Founding Member. A one-year voting membership, the opportunity to be involved in the process of reviewing and selecting from the design options we commission (but with TWO votes), and a special statement of thanks on our website.
$200 - Gold Founding Member. A one-year voting membership, the opportunity to be involved in the process of reviewing and selecting from the design options we commission, and a special statement of thanks on our website.
$100 - Founding Member. A one-year voting membership, and the opportunity to be involved in the process of reviewing and selecting from the design options we commission.
FREE - Basic Membership. Join us to show your support, and become involved in the Christian Transhumanist community!
Fill out the form the left to join and donate any amount ($5, $10, $15), or click here to join without donating.
What can we do with this money?
If we raise $750, we’ll commission a logo. Our backers will get to be involved in the process of reviewing submissions, giving feedback, and ultimately choosing the one we want to go with.
If we raise $1500, we’ll commission a logo, involving our backers in the process of reviewing, feedback, and final selection, AND we’ll commission branding and a redesign for our website.
If we raise $3000, we’ll commission a logo, involving our backers in the process of reviewing, feedback, and final selection, AND we’ll commission branding and a redesign for our website, AND we’ll have a web developer implement the design, giving us an operational and forward-looking web presence.
If we raise $6000, we’ll commission a logo, involving our backers in the process of reviewing, feedback, and final selection, AND we’ll commission branding and a redesign for our website, AND we’ll have a web developer implement the design, giving us an operational and forward-looking web presence, AND we’ll commission an intro video for Christian Transhumanism.