Spiritual intelligence from a cognitive and theological perspective: What is it, why does it matter, and could robots ever develop it?

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


A webinar for the members of the Science and Religion Forum, showcasing results from the interdisciplinary research project on "Understanding Spiritual Intelligence: Psychological, Computational, and Theological Perspectives"

Abstract: This workshop will introduce the concept of spiritual intelligence in terms of a natural human ability to take a different perspective on reality rather than a supernatural ability to engage with the transcendent. From a cognitive perspective, spiritual intelligence entails a distinctive way of engaging our mental architecture, with a re-balancing of the two main modes of cognition (rational/experiential, propositional/implicational, etc.). Psychologically, spiritual intelligence is a slower, more relational and participative mode of cognition, which deals not only with problem-solving and pattern recognition but also with discerning the problems worth solving and the patterns worth recognising. Theologically, this definition of spiritual intelligence is more faithful to the Patristic notion of intellectus/nous, which suggests that intelligent participation in the world is necessarily contemplative. Artificial intelligence (AI)’s current incompetency in tasks from the domain of spiritual intelligence might indicate that the latter is a central feature of the human mind and perhaps a crucial ingredient needed for human-level AI.
Period8 Feb 2023
Held atScience and Religion Forum, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational