Images and concepts of the 'posthuman' go back at least as far as the famous 'madman parable' in F. Nietzsche's The Gay Science, and their 'roots' go back much further still. In turn, the image or theme of the posthuman has played an increasingly important role in recent literature, film, and television, where the notion of humanity as a 'larval being' (G. Deleuze) that transforms itself or is being transformed into something else, for better or worse, has become increasingly common. This book explores these concepts in relation to biblical texts, particularly texts from the gospel of Mark but also from the books of Daniel, Jonah and Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes), and the Acts of the Apostles. At the same time, texts from recent popular culture are examined, including novels by J. Morrow, C. Miéville and G. Ryman, the movies Local Hero and Lars and the Real Girl, and the Heroes TV series among others. Through a kind of inverted causality, recent texts in various media such as these transform earlier and otherwise unrelated ones, including biblical texts, into precursors, giving them new, postmodern meanings, just as the older texts once signified in still other ways before the advent of the familiar modern world. As a result, biblical texts signify in remarkably different ways in relation to the posthuman. Posthuman beings appear in both biblical and non-biblical texts, and the biblical phrase 'sons of men' (in both plural and singular versions) plays a crucial role, where it too takes on meanings that range far beyond the conventional or traditional ones.
Tales of Posthumanity by George Aichele was published by Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd in October 2014. The ISBN for Tales of Posthumanity is 9781909697591.