, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 251–267 | Cite as

Seven Religious Reactions to Nanotechnology

Original Paper


Nanotechnology—the control of matter at the level of atoms and molecules—has evoked a large body of literature on moral and ethical issues. Almost all of this is expressed in secular voices. Religious commentaries about nanotechnology have been much more rare. And yet survey research indicates that religious belief will be one of the most powerful influences in shaping public views about nanotechnology. This paper argues that it is worth knowing what religious voices have said about nanotechnology, so that we might anticipate additional religious reactions in the future. After that, this paper presents seven cases of religious reactions to nanotechnology from a variety of faiths. This information gives us some insights about how religious individuals and institutions think about this technology, and also insights about how a new technology evokes a variety of hopes and fears.


Religion Transhumanism Golem Enhancement Standard technological ethics Embodiment Cyberimmortality 



The work in this paper was made possible by a grant from the US National Science Foundation (Number 0951614) and by a fellowship in the 2010 Research Colloquium of CrossCurrents (the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life). The views in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of NSF or CrossCurrents. I am also happy to acknowledge the contributions of Colin Townsend, the graduate research assistant on the Religion & Nanotechnology Project. In addition, I thank the two anonymous reviewers for this journal for their helpful suggestions that enabled me to improve this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USC NanoCenterUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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