ISBN-10:
0262533014
ISBN-13:
9780262533010
Pub. Date:
01/25/2008
Publisher:
MIT Press
Design and Destiny: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Human Germline Modification

Design and Destiny: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Human Germline Modification

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Overview

Scholars discuss the genetic modification of embryonic cells from the viewpoints of traditional Jewish and Christian teaching, considering both the possible therapeutic benefits of this technology and moral concerns about its implementation.

We are approaching the day when advances in biotechnology will allow parents to “design” a baby with the traits they want. The continuing debate over the possibilities of genetic engineering has been spirited, but so far largely confined to the realms of bioethics and public policy. Design and Destiny approaches the question in religious terms, discussing human germline modification (the genetic modification of the embryonic cells that become the eggs or sperm of a developing organism) from the viewpoints of traditional Christian and Jewish teaching. The contributors, leading religious scholars and writers, call our attention not to technology but to humanity, reflecting upon the meaning and destiny of human life in a technological age. Many of these scholars argue that religious teaching can support human germline modification implemented for therapeutic reasons, although they offer certain moral conditions that must be met.

The essays offer a surprising variety of opinions, including a discussion of Judaism's traditional presumption in favor of medicine, an argument that Catholic doctrine could accept germline modification if it is therapeutic for the embryo, an argument implying that “traditional” Christian teaching permits germline modification whether for therapy or enhancement, and a “classical” Protestant view that germline modification should be categorically opposed.

Contributors
Lisa Sowle Cahill, Nigel M. de S. Cameron, Ronald Cole-Turner, Amy Michelle DeBaets, Celia Deane-Drummond, Elliot Dorff, H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., Thomas A. Shannon, James J. Walter

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262533010
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 01/25/2008
Series: Basic Bioethics
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ronald Cole-Turner is H. Parker Sharp Professor of Theology and Ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is the author of The New Genesis: Theology and the Genetic Revolution and the coauthor of Pastoral Genetics: Theology and Care at the Beginning of Life.

Ronald Cole-Turner is H. Parker Sharp Professor of Theology and Ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is the author of The New Genesis: Theology and the Genetic Revolution and the coauthor of Pastoral Genetics: Theology and Care at the Beginning of Life.

What People are Saying About This

Courtney Campbell

"This important collection elevates public discourse about the ethics of modifying the human germline and displays the contributions of various religious traditions within the debate."--Courtney Campbell, Dept of Philosophy, Oregon State University

Guido Van Steendam

"This book will appeal to scholars and religious readers, and moreover,
help lay people understand the history and shortcomings of secular notions like
'human dignity,' which are rooted in religious traditions but don't survive secular culture. The contributors show that religious traditions don't outright reject all kinds of inheritable genetic modification or even enhancement, but that they are allies in the debate of genetic modification. These debates draw our attention to the complexity of the human ambition and mission to improve the world."--Guido Van Steendam, Director IFB, KULeuven, Belgium

Endorsement

This book will appeal to scholars and religious readers, and moreover, help lay people understand the history and shortcomings of secular notions like 'human dignity,' which are rooted in religious traditions but don't survive secular culture. The contributors show that religious traditions don't outright reject all kinds of inheritable genetic modification or even enhancement, but that they are allies in the debate of genetic modification. These debates draw our attention to the complexity of the human ambition and mission to improve the world.

Guido Van Steendam, Director IFB, KULeuven, Belgium

From the Publisher

These essays are a valuable resource in the debate about germline modification and are thoughtfully presented to allow for a range of religious perspective. Gerald Wolpe, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania

Gerald Wolpe, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania

This important collection elevates public discourse about the ethics of modifying the human germline and displays the contributions of various religious traditions within the debate.

Courtney Campbell, Department of Philosophy, Oregon State University

This book will appeal to scholars and religious readers, and moreover, help lay people understand the history and shortcomings of secular notions like 'human dignity,' which are rooted in religious traditions but don't survive secular culture. The contributors show that religious traditions don't outright reject all kinds of inheritable genetic modification or even enhancement, but that they are allies in the debate of genetic modification. These debates draw our attention to the complexity of the human ambition and mission to improve the world.

Guido Van Steendam, Director IFB, KULeuven, Belgium

Gerald Wolpe

These essays are a valuable resource in the debate about germline modification and are thoughtfully presented to allow for a range of religious perspective. Gerald Wolpe, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania

Customer Reviews