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Jordan Joseph Wales
Hillsdale College
  1. Contemplative Compassion: Gregory the Great’s Development of Augustine on Love of Neighbor and Likeness to God.Jordan Joseph Wales - 2018 - Augustinian Studies 49 (2):199-219.
    Gregory the Great depicts himself as a contemplative who, as bishop of Rome, was compelled to become an administrator and pastor. His theological response to this existential tension illuminates the vexed questions of his relationships to predecessors and of his legacy. Gregory develops Augustine’s thought in such a way as to satisfy John Cassian’s position that contemplative vision is grounded in the soul’s likeness to the unity of Father and Son. For Augustine, “mercy” lovingly lifts the neighbor toward life in (...)
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  2. Debate: What is Personhood in the Age of AI?David J. Gunkel & Jordan Joseph Wales - forthcoming - AI and Society.
    In a friendly interdisciplinary debate, we interrogate from several vantage points the question of “personhood” in light of contemporary and near-future forms of social AI. David J. Gunkel approaches the matter from a philosophical and legal standpoint, while Jordan Wales offers reflections theological and psychological. Attending to metaphysical, moral, social, and legal understandings of personhood, we ask about the position of apparently personal artificial intelligences in our society and individual lives. Re-examining the “person” and questioning prominent construals of that category, (...)
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  3. Empathy and Instrumentalization: Late Ancient Cultural Critique and the Challenge of Apparently Personal Robots.Jordan Joseph Wales - 2020 - In Marco Nørskov, Johanna Seibt & Oliver Santiago Quick (eds.), Culturally Sustainable Social Robotics: Proceedings of Robophilosophy 2020. Amsterdam: IOS Press. pp. 114-124.
    According to a tradition that we hold variously today, the relational person lives most personally in affective and cognitive empathy, whereby we enter subjective communion with another person. Near future social AIs, including social robots, will give us this experience without possessing any subjectivity of their own. They will also be consumer products, designed to be subservient instruments of their users’ satisfaction. This would seem inevitable. Yet we cannot live as personal when caught between instrumentalizing apparent persons (slaveholding) or numbly (...)
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  4.  38
    The Narrated Theology of 'Stabilitas' in Gregory the Great's Life of Benedict.Jordan Joseph Wales - 2014 - Cistercian Studies Quarterly 49 (2):163-198.
    The second of Gregory’s Dialogues, tells the life and miracles of Benedict of Nursia. In this paper, I will first introduce the Gregorian concepts of spiritual “stability” (stabilitas) and of the spiritual “ruler” (rector), along with the spiritual journey by which “stability” is recovered. Second, focusing on episodes that call attention to Benedict’s physical self-disposition (seated, standing, walking), I will read his life doubly. Under one reading, these episodes proffer moral exempla wherein Benedict’s physical self-possession outwardly manifests a spiritual ruler’s (...)
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  5.  73
    The Satanic and the Theomimetic: Distinguishing and Reconciling "Sacrifice" in René Girard and Gregory the Great.Jordan Joseph Wales - 2020 - Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 27 (1):177-214.
    Compelling voices charge that the theological notion of “sacrifice” valorizes suffering and fosters a culture of violence by the claim that Christ’s death on the Cross paid for human sins. Beneath the ‘sacred’ violence of sacrifice, René Girard discerns a concealed scapegoat-murder driven by a distortion of human desire that itself must lead to human self-annihilation. I here ask: can one speak safely of sacrifice; and can human beings somehow cease to practice the sacrifice that must otherwise destroy them? Drawing (...)
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