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

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Overview

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. ContributorsLisa SowleCahill, 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 Ronald Cole-Turner isH. 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 PastoralGenetics: Theology and Care at the Beginning of Life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is well worth reading for anyone, especially scholars, interested in medical ethics in general and genetics in particular. It is extremely well-organized, nicely written, thorough, and informative." Donna Yarri, PhD Ethics & Medicine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262033732
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2008
  • Series: Basic Bioethics
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald Cole-Turner is H. Parker Sharp Professor of Theology and Ethics at PittsburghTheological Seminary. He is the author of The New Genesis: Theology and the GeneticRevolution and the coauthor of Pastoral Genetics: Theology and Care at theBeginning of Life.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Religion and the Question of Human Germline Modification   Ronald Cole-Turner     1
Judaism and Germline Modification   Elliot N. Dorff     29
The Roman Catholic Magisterium and Genetic Research: An Overview and Evaluation   Thomas A. Shannon     51
A Traditional Christian Reflection on Reengineering Human Nature   H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr.     73
Germline Gene Modification and the Human Condition before God   Nigel M. de S. Cameron   Amy Michelle DeBaets     93
Human Germline Therapy: Proper Human Responsibility or Playing God?   James J. Walter     119
Germline Genetics, Human Nature, and Social Ethics   Lisa Sowle Cahill     145
Freedom, Conscience, and Virtue: Theological Perspectives on the Ethics of Inherited Genetic Modification   Celia Deane-Drummond     167
Religion, Genetics, and the Future   Ronald Cole-Turner     201
Suggestions for Further Reading     225
Contributors     229
Index     231
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