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dr. Marius Dorobantu

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Religion and Theology, Beliefs and Practices

Assistant Professor, CLUE+


My current mission is to nourish a mutual enrichment between artificial intelligence and religion. Theological anthropology can benefit significantly from engaging with the insights coming from AI and cognitive science. Likewise, spiritual and wisdom traditions can bring valuable contributions to the interdisciplinary research on the nature of intelligence or the ethical debates regarding human flourishing in a digital age.

Forthcoming book: 'Artificial Intelligence and the Image of God: Are We More than Intelligent Machines?' (Cambridge University Press)

Between 2020 and 2023, I've been part of an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, philosophers, theologians, and computer scientists at the ISSR (International Society for Science & Religion). We worked on a project entitled Understanding Spiritual Intelligence: Psychological, Theological, and Computational Approaches, developed within the Diverse Intelligences initiative, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. My focus was on a theological understanding of the notion of intelligence in conversation with AI and evolutionary science.

Previously, my prize-winning doctoral dissertation in Ethics analysed the challenges posed by the possibility of human-level AI to the notion of imago Dei in theological anthropology.

A research master's thesis I supervised won the 2024 national Jan Brouwer Thesis Prize, awarded by the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities - KHMW (The thesis is entitled "A Life of Gelâzenheit: Spiritual Intelligence According to Meister Eckhart and Iain McGilchrist" and was written by Michiel Bouman).

I am a fellow of the ISSR. In 2022, I was elected as a member of its executive board.

Peer reviewer for Oxford University Press, CRC Press (Routledge) and the academic journals 'Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences,' 'Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science,' 'Theology and Science,' 'Sophia', 'Scientia et Fides,' 'Philosophia Reformata,' 'Religions,' and 'Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion.'


Selected publications (complete list here):

M. Dorobantu. (in press). Artificial Intelligence and the Image of God: Are We More than Intelligent Machines? Cambridge University Press.

M. Dorobantu & F. Watts (eds.). Perspectives on Spiritual Intelligence. Routledge [with chapters by, among others, Rowan Williams, Catherine Pickstock, Michael Reiss, William Clocksin].

M. Dorobantu. (in press). “AI and Christianity: Friends or Foes?” In Cambridge Companion to Religion and Artificial Intelligence, edited by B. Singler and F. Watts. Cambridge University Press. 88-108.

M. Dorobantu. (in press). "Spiritual and Artificial Intelligence" In Perspectives on Spiritual Intelligence, edited by M. Dorobantu and F. Watts. Routledge.

M. Dorobantu (in press). "Theological Anthropology Progressing through Artificial Intelligence." In Progress in Theology: Does the Queen of the Sciences Advance?, edited by G. van den Brink, R. Peels and B. Sollereder. Routledge.

F. Watts & M. Dorobantu. 2023. "The Relational Turn in Understanding Personhood: Psychological, Theological and Computational Perspectives." Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 58 (4): 1029-1044.

M. Dorobantu & F. Watts. 2023. "Spiritual Intelligence: Processing Different Information or Processing Information Differently?" Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 58 (3): 732-748.

F. Watts & M. Dorobantu. 2023. "Shamanic and Doctrinal: Dunbar and the Spiritual Turn in Contemporary Religion." Religion, Brain & Behavior.

F. Watts & M. Dorobantu. 2023. "Is There 'Spiritual Intelligence'? An Evaluation of Strong and Weak Proposals." Religions 14 (2), 265.

M. Dorobantu. 2023. "The Master's Theory of Everything: A Review of Iain McGilchrist's The Matter with Things.Reviews in Science, Religion and Theology 2 (1): 6-17.

M. Dorobantu. (in press). “Hesychasm.” In Routledge Handbook of Mount Athos, edited by G. Speake. Routledge.

M. Dorobantu. 2023. "Imago Dei. Interpréter l’humain, Imago Dei à l’heure du numérique" [Imago Dei: Interpreting humanness in a digital age]. Recherches de Science Religieuse 111 (4): 661-678.

M. Dorobantu. 2022. "Artificial Intelligence as a Testing Ground for Key Theological Questions." Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 57 (4): 984-999.

M.Dorobantu. 2022. 'Imago Dei in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Challenges and Opportunities for a Science-Engaged Theology.Christian Perspectives on Science and Technology (New Series) 1: 175-196. This article was awarded the Australian Theology Research Foundation's prize.

M. Dorobantu. 2022, “Strong Artificial Intelligence and Imago Dei: One Problem, Two Solutions.” In Humanism and its Discontents: The Rise of Transhumanism and Posthumanism, edited by P. Jorion. Palgrave Macmillan. 19-33.

M. Dorobantu. 2021. “Human-Level, but Non-Humanlike: Artificial Intelligence and a Multi-Level Relational Interpretation of the Imago Dei." Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 8 (1): 81-107.

M. Dorobantu. 2021. "Why the future might actually need us: A theological critique of the ‘humanity-as-midwife-for-artificial-superintelligence’ proposal." International Journal of Interactive Multimedia and Artificial Intelligence 7 (1): 44-51.

M. Dorobantu. 2021. “Cognitive Vulnerability, Artificial Intelligence, and the Image of God in Humans." Journal of Disability & Religion 25 (1): 27-40.

M. Dorobantu. 2020. “Will Robots Too Be in the Image of God? Artificial Consciousness and Imago Dei in Westworld.” In Theology and Westworld, edited by J. Gittinger and S. Sheinfeld. Lexington Books. 73-90.

M. Dorobantu & Y. Wilks. 2019. “Moral Orthoses: A New Approach to Human and Machine Ethics." Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 54 (4): 1004-1021.


Selected (video) talks and lectures:

2022: Rethinking imago Dei between Darwin and Artificial Intelligence: A case study of progress in theology. At the Winter Seminar of Progress in Theology, Abraham Kuyper Center, Amsterdam.

2022: Être humain à l'âge de l'IA [Being human in the age of artificial intelligence]. Lecture (in French) at the Human Technology Foundation, Paris.

2021: Artificial Intelligence as the inauthentic "other": Why would we care? Debate with philosopher Pim Haselager at the Institute for Eastern Christian Studies (IvOC), Radboud University Nijmegen.

2021. Are humans hackable? Artificial intelligence, demonic intelligence, and our free will. At the SPT Conference 2021 (Society for Philosophy and Technology), Lille.

2020: Theological Anthropology and the Possibility of Human-Level Artificial Intelligence: Rethinking Human Distinctiveness and the Imago Dei. Doctoral thesis defence, Strasbourg. The thesis was awarded the University of Strasbourg Research Committee's prize.

2018: Les enjeux de l'inteligence artificielle [The challenges of Artificial Intelligence]. Debate with computer scientist Frédéric Wickert, Strasbourg.


At the Faculty of Religion and Theology I (co-)teach

  • Theories of Religion to bachelor students (2023-2024)
  • Intro Argumentation Theory and Intro Philosophy of Science to bachelor students (2022-2023)
  • Research Design and Academic Writing to research master students (2020-2021, 2021-2022)
Ancillary activities

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dr. Marius Dorobantu


  • Theology and Science, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, Theological Anthrop...


Uitgelichte prijzen

  • University of Strasbourg PhD Thesis Prize 2020