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Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture

Volume 24, Issue 1, Winter 2021

Paul Treschow
Pages 49-65

“You Aren’t You, Are You?”
Transhumanism, the Person, and the Resurrection in Black Mirror’s “Be Right Back”

In this article I consider the failed resurrection of the beloved in “Be Right Back” in conversation with Christian doctrine surrounding Christ’s resurrection. I contend that the resurrected Ash is insufficient for Martha because he is not a “person,” intending with that term to evoke the Catholic personalist movement, particularly as outlined by Jacques Maritain. I begin with an outline of Maritain’s personalism and then discuss the Enlightenment conception of the self that Charles Taylor has called “the ‘punctual’ self ” and its relation to transhumanism. These competing accounts of personhood frame a discussion of “Be Right Back,” in which I contend that the resurrected Ash is a hyperpunctual self and that his lack of personality makes true loving exchange between him and Martha impossible. Finally, I draw on Augustine’s teaching on the Resurrection and the New Testament resurrection accounts themselves to consider how Christ’s Resurrection affirms the centrality of persons and love, fulfilling the desire for a resurrection of the beloved’s person that is implicit in the critiques of a nonpersonalist resurrection in “Be Right Back.”

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