Research Project Moral Discernment in an Age of Complex Technology

Gospel-based Appropriation of Contemporary Technological Developments

This research project focuses on answering the question of how the gospel influences our appreciation of new technologies – how it guides our moral discernment in this area as Christians in Europe (Newbigin, 1989). The gift of the gospel, namely the incarnation, cross, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the justification by faith in that event, is the starting point of all our ethical reasoning (Rom. 12:1-2; H. Thielicke, 1966). In Christ, God has reconciled the world, all life, with himself (2 Cor. 5:20). The question is how this reality of God’s act of salvation and restoration is to be lived out in a secular society that is largely driven by technology, and by the belief in progress and economic growth. These new technological achievements, as well as the formation of a technological perception of reality, are deeply ambivalent (Mitcham, 1994). It is precisely in the context of this ambivalence concerning technology that we need moral discernment. This project is aimed at providing a tool for discernment by means of the “Hermeneutical Ethics of Responsibility”-model. This model supports a biblical and theological engagement with the process of technologizing.