Abstract This short paper provides the context for the six theological papers published in this issue that were part of a wider discussion with other scientists and theologians on becoming human. It raises the questions that the papers sought to address and shows how the different aspects of what it means to be human from a theological perspective are challenged by, but also serve to engage and in some cases confront, scientific debates on this matter. The particular sciences involved included neuroscience, genetics, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and paleontology. Selected scientific and other theological papers will appear in subsequent issues of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. The particular theological positions taken in this collection are distinctive and form the basis for a theological debate on what it means to be human in theistic perspective.