What will be the greatest moral challenge facing our society throughout this century? Are we ready to face it? The contributors to this book make the case that the greatest watershed debates of this new century concerning ethics and public policy will surround the issue of biotechnology. These twelve essays alert the reader to the ethical and legal challenges we face in the new genetics, involving embryo research, stem cell research, cloning, genetic engineering, gene therapy, pharmocogenomics, cybernetics, nanotechnology and, of course, abortion. Leaders in their fields, these contributors point out the crucial role Christians can and should play in the public square. The forward-looking thought by these spokespersons will help us get prepared.
What will be the greatest moral challenge facing our society throughout this century? Are we ready
to face it? Editors Charles W. Colson and Nigel M. de S. Cameron, along with a panel of expert contributors, make the case in this book that the greatest watershed debates of the twenty-first century concerning ethics and public policy will surround the issue of biotechnology. In twelve essays they address several of the legal and ethical challenges before us: embryo research, stem cell research, cloning, genetic engineering, gene therapy, pharmacogenomics, cybernetics, nanotechnology and, of course, abortion. Contributors include
- William L. Saunders, J. D., Family Research Council
- Christopher Hook, M.D., The Mayo Clinic
- Henk Jochemsen, Ph.D., Free University of Amsterdam
- David A. Prentice, Ph.D., Indiana State University
- Nathan A. Adams IV, Ph.D., J.D., Christian Legal Society
- David Stevens, M.D., Christian Medical Association
- Paige Comstock Cunningham, J. D., Americans United for Life
- C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
- Richard Doerflinger, M.A., Secretariat for Pro-life, National Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Wesley J. Smith, J.D., International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assistend Suicide
Leaders in their fields, these contributors point out the crucial role Christians can and should play in the public square. The well-informed and forward-looking perspectives they present will help us prepare for the challenges ahead.
Colson, formerly special counsel to President Nixon, is founder and chairman of Prison Fellowship and the Wilberforce Forum. He also chairs the Council for Biotechnology Policy. Colson's daily radio commentaries are heard by more than one million listeners.
Cameron is research professor of bioethics at Chicago-Kent College of Law and president of the Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future. He founded the journal in 1983, directs the Council for Biotechnology Policy (Washington, D.C., chaired by Charles W. Colson), and has represented the United States at the United Nations discussions on human cloning. He is former provost and distinguished professor of theology and culture at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School/Trinity International University (Deerfield, Illinois).
This essay collection provides a worthwhile, if somewhat uneven, selection of
conservative Christian thought about biotechnology and its ethical and legal
implications. Colson and Cameron assemble a reliable team of contributors,
weighted more towards organizational leaders and lobbyists than academics. In
general, subtlety is not a strong point here. Colson characterizes
therapeutic use of embryonic stem cells as "high-tech cannibalism," a practice
that "will lead inevitably to the abolition of humankind and the ultimate end
of Western civilization as we know it." Yet some other contributors
(including Paige Comstock Cunningham, a former president of Americans United
for Life) reach out to a wider audience, recognizing that on issues of cloning
and genetic engineering, pro-life conservatives may find unexpected allies
among pro-choice advocates and Greens, who share their suspicions of eugenics
and biotech capitalism. Other highlights include David Prentice's calculations
of the feasibility of "therapeutic" cloning for major diseases such as
diabetes and Christopher Hook's discussion of "transhumanism," using
cybernetics and nanotechnology to enhance human potential. Overall, the volume
cannot quite deliver on the promise of its subtitle: there is not enough of a
coherent theological framework here to constitute a Christian vision for
public policy. But there are certainly some promising suggestions for
Christian public advocacy. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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