More Than Computers: Human Identity in a Digital World

Noreen Herzfeld, Ph.D.

Computer scientists and philosophers have recently suggested that the mind, and hence the self, is essentially nothing more than a computer and could be reproduced digitally. This view separates mind from body and ignores the spirit. As a better concept, our creation in the image of God intertwines mind, action, and relationship as each essential for human identity. We are neither just a mind nor just a body, but a mind that is both part and product of our human body, a body that exists within a larger environment and human culture. Computers may extend our minds, our ability to act, and our relationships, but they always do this in a limited and partial manner.

Noreen Herzfeld

Noreen Herzfeld is the Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professor of Religion and Science at Saint John's University. She is a 1994 alum of the School of Theology·Seminary and earned her doctorate at The Graduate Theological Union. Herzfeld's fusion of studies originated when she let her curiosity take her from mathematics and computer science into theology. She now teaches in both disciplines and her investigations have led to several books including; In Our Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Spirit, and Technology and Religion: Remaining Human in a Co-Created World.




Date & Location 

Friday, September 27 - 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Emmaus Hall, Saint John's University

Friday, October 25- 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Emmaus Hall, Saint John's University

Thursday, November 21- 6-9 p.m., Church of Saint Mary, Alexandria

Thursday, December 19 - 6-9 p.m., Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis



A typical Theology Day consists of registration and refreshments, followed by a period of conversation/presentation/lecture. The conversation then continues as participants are given a chance to continue their discussions with one another. Morning presentations at Emmaus Hall are followed by a complimentary lunch for all participants, and most evening sessions include refreshments.

There is no fee for Theology Day, but registration is required.  Free-will offerings and gifts to support the mission of the School of Theology·Seminary are gratefully accepted.

For more information, contact our Development Office at 320-363-3570 or [email protected].

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