Jewish Futures Conference
Dr. Robert M Geraci
I’m Texan, but living, teaching, and writing in New York City. I’m pretty sure that everyone loves robots, which is why I’ve written a book about them. People love games too, so I wrote another book. I’m also interested in the toadstool circles, the ancient temples, the soaring cathedrals of our religious imagination. Likewise, the dark tunnels of mining and rapid transit. I visit mountains, deserts, temples, laboratories, factories, virtual realities…the places where magic enters the world.
Thanks to a Fulbright-Nehru Research Award, I spent 5 months at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, where I interviewed dozens of scientists in academia, industry, and hacker culture. The book is published by Lexington Press (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield). It offers new insights into contemporary India and into methodology in the study of religion, science, and technology.
In 2018-19, I was back on sabbatical and back in India–once again under the auspices of a Fulbright-Nehru award. I was affiliated with the National Institute of Advanced Studies, and I conducted research for a new project investigating the contemporary culture of traditional handcrafts.
Overall, my interest is in how we use technology to enchant and give meaning to the world. To study this, I use ethnographic fieldwork, methods from science & technology studies (especially actor-network theory), literature (science fiction) studies, and the hodgepodge of methods that all of us in “religion and science studies” put to use. Within the study of religion and science, I am a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion.
Dr. Robert M Geraci is a Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College and author of Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics (Oxford University Press, 2010), Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life (Oxford University Press, 2014), Temples of Modernity: Nationalism, Hinduism, and Transhumanism in South Indian Science (Lexington 2018), Futures of Artificial Intelligence: Perspectives from India and the U.S. (Oxford 2022).