Biotechnology, Human Nature, and Christian Ethics
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Biotechnology, Human Nature, and Christian Ethics

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Description

In public debates over biotechnology, theologians, philosophers, and political theorists have proposed that biotechnology could have significant implications for human nature. They argue that ethical evaluations of biotechnologies that might affect human nature must take these implications into account. In this book, Gerald McKenny examines these important yet controversial arguments, which have in turn been criticized by many moral philosophers and professional bioethicists. He argues that Christian ethics is, in principle, committed to some version of the claim that human nature has normative status in relation to biotechnology. Showing how both criticisms and defences of this claim have often been facile, he identifies, develops, and critically evaluates three versions of the claim, and contributes a fourth, distinctively Christian version to the debate. Focusing on Christian ethics in conversation with secular ethics, McKenny's book is the first thorough analysis of a controversial contemporary issue.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 235 pages
  • 160 x 237 x 20mm | 500g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 1108422802
  • 9781108422802
  • 1,567,119

Table of contents

1. Biotechnology and the normative status of human nature; 2. Human nature as given; 3. Human nature as ground of human goods and rights; 4. Human nature as indeterminate, open-ended, and malleable; 5. Human nature as condition for imaging God; Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'Well written and with sound scholarly apparatus, this text will serve ethics and philosophy professionals as well as upper-level students.' M. LaBar, Choice 'Eschewing both cheap moralizing and cynical resignation, McKenny offers his readers a variety of descriptive frameworks which are fully attuned to the ambiguities of ... a bioethical quandary. The vitality of Christian moral discourses is shown precisely in how the language of witness and attestation are able to uphold such ambiguity, and to do so in our rapidly changing world.' Marginalia Review of Books 'Well written and with sound scholarly apparatus, this text will serve ethics and philosophy professionals as well as upper-level students.' M. LaBar, Choice 'Eschewing both cheap moralizing and cynical resignation, McKenny offers his readers a variety of descriptive frameworks which are fully attuned to the ambiguities of ... a bioethical quandary. The vitality of Christian moral discourses is shown precisely in how the language of witness and attestation are able to uphold such ambiguity, and to do so in our rapidly changing world.' Marginalia Review of Books
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About Gerald McKenny

Gerald McKenny is Walter Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is the author of To Relieve the Human Condition: Bioethics, Technology, and the Body (1997) and The Analogy of Grace: Karl Barth's Moral Theology (2013). His work in theological ethics and biomedical ethics is concerned with Christian ethics in a milieu that is shaped by modern culture, politics, and technology.
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