Student Seminar: Technology and Human Dignity

March 14-16, 2024
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Since the beginning of our history, humans have created and used tools to shape our environment, record our experiences, and make our lives easier. Leisure—and the art, liturgy, play, and fellowship that comes from it—is only possible because of technology. But today, technology feels like it is threatening, not enhancing, our humanity. How can we as conservatives reckon with the inescapable role that technological advancement has played in our past, and interact with contemporary tech in a way that supports human dignity?

Join Dr. Andrew Jones and Dr. Marc Barnes for a weekend discussion on the relationship between human nature and technology. Through writings by Martin Heidegger, Jacques Ellul, Ivan Illich, George Grant, and others, students will discuss how we should define the word “technology”; whether our current technologies (like so-called artificial intelligence, transgender surgeries, and space exploration) differ from past technologies in kind or merely in scale; and whether human nature changes in response to technology.

All student attendees will receive copies of the readings and travel stipends of up to $350. All who fully participate in the weekend seminar will also receive a $100 honorarium.


Andrew Willard Jones

Andrew Willard Jones holds a PhD in Medieval History from Saint Louis University with a focus on the Church of the High Middle Ages. Jones’s work is primarily concerned with historical political theology and with the reconciliation of the post-modern with the pre-modern. Methodologically, his work treats history as a theological discipline and not as a secular archaeology. Jones is the author of Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in St. Louis IX’s Sacramental Kingdom and the one-volume history of the Catholic Church The Two Cities: A History of Christian Politics. He is also working on an overview of the Church’s social teaching.

Marc Barnes

Marc Barnes is the editor of New Polity Magazine, a journal devoted to exploring and explaining the world before and after liberalism.

Registrations are closed