1st Edition

Religion and Artificial Intelligence An Introduction

By Beth Singler Copyright 2025
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rarely out of the news and the public’s imagination. Images of red-eyed Terminators illustrate press accounts of incremental advances in medical diagnosis, facial recognition, natural language processing, and robotics. Such advances transform society through measurable impacts on people’s decisions and opportunities.

    Religion and Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction explores an emerging field with a religious studies approach, drawing on cultural and digital anthropological methods, to demonstrate the entanglements of religion and AI, our imaginaries of these objects, and our ideas about their utopian or dystopian futures. It addresses key topics including:

    • What AI is and is not
    • How religions are reacting to AI with examples of rejection, adoption, and adaptation
    • How established religions understand creation and place human-like AI within that
    • How overtly secular and even ‘New Atheist’ groups understand AI as a tool for liberation from human evolution and religion
    • Religious visions of superintelligent AI.

    This engaging book is essential for anyone considering the relationship between religion, science and technology, and interested in the questions raised by transhumanism, posthumanism, and new religious movements.

    1. Introduction

    2. Rejection

    3. Adoption

    4. Adaptation

    5. AI, Religion, and Transhumanism

    6. AI New Religious Movements

    7. Religion, Creation, and Posthumanism

    8. Entanglements, Imaginaries, and Futures.




    Beth Singler is the Assistant Professor in Digital Religion(s) at the University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland; and co-lead of the MEEET-Lab at UZH, an Associate Professor at the Digital Society Initiative at UZH, a Fellow of the ISSR, and a member of the Human Augmentation Research Network.

    "Beth Singler has crafted a comprehensive yet highly readable survey of religion and AI that includes a wide range of religious traditions and thoughtful discussion cues to get the most reluctant student talking. As either a textbook or as an introduction to the entanglement of religion and AI for the curious reader, this book offers a wide variety of ‘case studies’ to raise questions and challenge our ideas about religion and technology that the reader will find compelling. Singler takes the time to explain and problematize certain terms early on and is rigorous in her scholarship yet manages a narrative-like quality that is very gratifying. This book is an important contribution to the rapidly growing discourse on artificial intelligence." - Juli L. Gittinger, Georgia College & State University, USA