In the beginning, God created humans in Eden according to God‐self; we are creatures bearing imago Dei (“image of God”), destined for a peaceful, natural paradise. In contemporary times, this Genesis‐based narrative faces a rival from post‐/transhumanism and its gospel: emerging technologies will free us from our prison of meat, thus unleashing God‐like powers. There appears to be an inevitable antagonism between technophobia and technophilia, as we wrestle with staying human in a high‐tech culture everyday. Scott Midson, however, wants to erase the boundaries demarcating human, nature, and technology. A lecturer at the University of Manchester and a member of the Lincoln Theological Institute, Midson uses the cyborg figure in his maiden book to examine how technology is portrayed at the intersection of theological anthropology and posthumanism.

Cyborg Theology provides a three‐part theological response to Donna Haraway's (1991) essay “A Cyborg Manifesto”, and campaigns for the recognition of cyborg theology as a nascent field. Part I concerns the question “what are humans?”. It lays down the theological parameters and evaluates the three versions of imago Dei: are we humans by virtue of something we have (substantive), something we do (functional), or some relation we enter into (relational)? In doing so, Midson models the three‐way relationships between human, nature, technology, and maps the challenges posed by post‐/transhumanism. Part II asks “what are cyborgs?”. Midson rejects the symbol of cyborgs as just physical beings (i.e., human–machine fusions), arguing instead that any being living in a complex, organo‐cybernetic system is a cyborg. Hence, insofar as we cannot abstract ourselves from information systems, we are all cyborgs already. Part III brings the two fields together, addressing “how would theological anthropology accommodate cyborgs?”. To this end, Midson rearticulates biblical narratives (e.g. the garden of Eden) through the symbolism of cyborg to arrive at a cyborg theology. The book has a negative and positive conclusion: it rejects a substantial and anthropomorphic conception of human nature, favoring a relational account that captures the non‐discreteness of human, natural, and technological beings.

Midson presents a good case against the substantive account of imago Dei with regard to cyborgs. On what separates humans from non‐humans, he observes that “[a] human with a pacemaker is still regarded as a human and not a cyborg, whereas in [science‐fiction], a human with computerised, mechanised or cybernetic appendages is portrayed as in some way […] superhuman” (190–1). Indeed, Cyborg Theology is populated with case studies that debunk the legitimacy of using human nature as a “gate of difference” (190) for assimilating or rejecting technology.

Further, Midson has a talent for sniffing out conflicts in other scholars’ commitments. In evaluating Philip Hefner's application of imago Dei—“created co‐creators”—Midson concludes that “Hefner clings to notions of (human) nature and identifies technology within that realm: human autonomy and creativity are at the heart of human‐technological nature” (154). The charge here is that Hefner is guilty of misrepresenting his cyborgian position as relational when in fact it is closer to a substantive approach because he relies on, rather than abandons, conventional categories. If Midson is right, then we should think twice before labeling technophilic theologians as friends of cyborg theology.

Another highlight of Cyborg Theology is its use of fabulation as methodology. By fabulation, Midson refers to “stories that sediment and become histories” (14); such stories can be both fictional (e.g. Frankenstein) and non‐fictional (e.g. the Cold War). And so despite the seeming irrelevance of Eden and other theological narratives in a secular age, Midson advocates that “[we] cannot reject [them] because they are part of the rich tapestry of narratives that we draw on in making sense of ourselves and the world, where technologies are an inseparable (and imploded) part of both” (196). One need to look no further than science‐fiction books and films that portray a post‐apocalyptic utopia for humanity—Interstellar (2014) comes to mind—to find familiar notions of salvation that seek to deliver us from a fallen world.

That said, because the book engages so extensively with existing scholars (albeit critically), it ultimately came across as a commentary, less so charting a new territory. The target author, Donna Haraway, appeared in the main text almost 300 times, averaging to more than once per page; fabulation as a methodology was first developed by Elaine Graham; working at the intersection of theology and technology, Noreen Hertzfeld had been emphasizing a relational approach since 2002. Likewise, how Midson plans to bring cyborg theology into existence is also regrettably brief. Most chapters serve to defend the negative thesis. But the positive thesis—that of an interconnected, non‐anthropocentric approach—is only explicitly spelled out in the conclusion in the form of eight principles for further research. One such bullet point is this: “A decentred approach to the field(s) in question that does not prioritise any particular group but strives to recognise the ways that multiple actors have equal importance and influence” (199). The devil is in the details; these principles come across as too abstract and critical, and serve more as proscription rather than prescription. As such, Midson's emphasis on system de‐construction creates a gap more so than fills one. But this act of demolition also frees up room to build something new, a research opportunity most welcome for those inclined toward system construction.

Overall, Cyborg Theology illustrates the importance of the cyborg figure to theology. The book succeeds in tearing down a substantive anthropology of human nature, though less so in constructing a new field. It is suitable for technologists and theologians interested in collaborating with one another, and is of particular interest to science and religion scholars at a postgraduate level or above.