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Jacob Boss


Research Interests


My focus on religion and technology emerged from a background in ecological anthropology and Asian languages and literature. I consider questions such as: How are bodies, conceptualizations of bodies, and the use of bodies being transformed by technology? What are the social factors and consequences of increasing integration of technology into bodies? What cultural resources are being harnessed for thinking about the relationship between humans and their technologies? I draw on a wealth of ever expanding resources, everything from comic books to robotics laboratories, hacker conventions and web forums, doomsday prophets, and transhumanist political parties.

Some of my activities as a graduate student include:

In 2017 I gave a paper, "The Harmony of Metal and Flesh: Ecotheology and Cybernetics," to the Midwest Region conference of the American Academy of Religion. Also in 2017 I gave a paper, "Artificial Beings, Natural Feelings: Rudolph Otto's Phenomenology of Religion and Robots," at the religious studies conference hosted by Indiana University Bloomington.

In 2015 I founded and lead the Graduate Religious Studies Association of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University. In October of 2014 I gave a paper at the Annual Conference on South Asia hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison entitled, "Public Performances of Dissatisfaction: Looking Beyond Nation-States in Maharishi Vedic City." My trip to Madison was supported by a generous grant from the Dhar India Studies Program. I also served as department representative to the Graduate and Professional Student Government for the 2014-2015 school year.


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