I’ll admit it was tempting. Putting in the title of this month’s intro into Chat GPT and see what it came up with for an answer. Then OpenAI wanted my personal details. It seemed like the cost of my personal info was too much, and so here I type.

When the generative artificial intelligence craze really took off this spring, many were filled with dread, myself included. Since then, I’ve heard less impressive stories. Yet, in this edition of Covalence we thought it would be as good a time as any to explore AI a bit further. 

Thomas Johnston, a seminary student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, volunteered over the summer to take a deep dive on the topic. In this month’s feature, he looks at what AI has to tell us about humanity, the Imago Dei and our future. 

“AI has become integral in our lives, and in some cases, become intertwined with our lives,” writes Johnston. “In fact, one can’t fully live without AI. What does this mean as people of faith in the worship setting?” 

In other settings, we are still exploring our own neurology and mental health. In fact, the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and Randolph-Macon College is co-hosting a faith-and-science symposium titled “God on the Brain: The Nexus of Religious Faith and Mental Well-Being” on Sept. 23.

In other news, we said goodbye over the summer to Ronald Numbers, the historian of science, who helped define what we know about creationism and its rise in the U.S. 

We hope you find the topics covered in this month’s issue as fascinating as we do, because neurotheology, AI and how each shapes our faith will continue to be of interest to scholars in the years to come.

Happy Reading!

Susan Barreto, Editor

Susan Barreto
Susan Barreto

Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.

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