Thomas Fuchs: Theology of the Person – Personhood and Neuroscience

Date(s) - February 23, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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Regent College’s Centre for Humanity and the Common Good presents an eight-part lecture series on the Theology of the Person. This lecture series recovers the all-important concept of the “Person” for a theological engagement of contemporary culture.

Join us on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 for the fourth lecture titled “Personhood and Neuroscience” with Dr. Thomas Fuchs.

This lecture will be available online. Information about an in-person component for the public will be available closer to February 23, 2022.


Lecture Title: Personhood and Neuroscience
Speaker: Thomas Fuchs
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Time: 12 pm–1 pm


Do we find what makes up a person in the brain? And, if one could transplant a brain, would that also transfer the person into a new organism? Advances in neuroscience have promoted an identification of person and brain that is incompatible with the reality of the human person. Persons are necessarily embodied, i.e., they show themselves, they act and express themselves through their bodies. We are persons to each other not as abstract minds, but as living, visible, and palpable beings. This view of the person also corresponds to the biological reality of the organism: the brain is not the locus of consciousness, but an organ of mediation for the relations of the conscious organism to the environment. As such, it is only the necessary, but by no means the sufficient condition for personal experience and behavior. It is not the brain, but the living person who feels, thinks, and acts.


Thomas Fuchs (Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry) is head of the section Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychotherapy at the University of Heidelberg. He is the coordinator of the Heidelberg Marsilius-Project “Embodiment as a Paradigm of an Evolutionary Cultural Anthropology,” and chairman of the German Society for Phenomenological Anthropology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (DGAP). He has written numerous books including Imagination and Social Perspectives: Approaches from Phenomenology and Psychopathology (Routledge, 2020) and In Defense of the Human Being (Oxford University Press, 2021).


The James M. Houston Centre for Humanity and the Common Good is a five-year initiative of Regent College dedicated to the question of human identity and its importance for conceptions of the good life. Grounded in Dr. James M. Houston’s Christian theological vision of integrative scholarship combining academic study, practical research, and lived reality, the centre will provide opportunities for interdisciplinary and inter-religious dialogue on the question of what it means to be human. Through planned collaboration with UBC and other academic institutions, and by inviting insights from a wide range of secular and religious perspectives, the centre aims to engage in a broad consideration of human identity and the common good.


The lecture is free, but a ticket is required to participate.

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