April 11, 2016
A theologically sensitive approach to body hacking, or transhumanism, must begin by affirming the goodness of our created bodies.
All of these "modifications" have been around for at least a generation.
What say you about tattooes?
Owen - while some have been around longer, it seems that many are just now beginning to gather steam and become more "mainstream"
Jack - I would include tattoos among the sort of "low tech" body modifications to which I have no objection.
The only verse in the Bible that mentions tattoos explicitly is Leviticus 19:28 - "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves." Given the context, what is commanded here is not opposition to body art or self-expression but opposition to religious ritual and, particularly, worship of the dead.
I would subject tattoos to the same concern I lay out above: was the tattoo received in a way and for a reason that honors God with your body? I would have no qualms about receiving a tattoo from my friend Tim's parlor - he is a highly trained, skilled artist whose facility is clean and professional (I almost did get one from him, actually, and have still not ruled it out). Tattoos can be a wonderful way of celebrative self-expression, of remembering pivotal points in one's life, and of telling one's story.
More could be said but I'll leave it at that.
In Reply to Jack Dodge (comment #28063)
Jack, you might also be interested in this earlier TC piece: <a href="https://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/tattoos-and-resurrection">"Tattoos and resurrection"</a>.
Interesting. From one point of view any surgery is interventionist - and in particular, a surgery that implants something, like an ICD or pacemaker, is body-hacking, as well as some solutions to deafness. Tough issue. And different folks will draw the lines different places. What makes this tougher for us is our weak theology of creation, and our gnostic leanings. I'd be looking outside evangelical circles for a helpful biblical approach - maybe Anglicans!
Incidentally, the scholar/theologian doing some great work in this area is Stephen Garner at Laidlaw in Auckland.
Would you say that this topic is included in the Theology of the Body conversation? Also with resurrection of the body discourse?
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