There’s No Harm in Talking: Re-Establishing the Relationship Between Theological and Secular Bioethics

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Michael McCarthy, Mary Homan & Michael Rozier

Tag(s): Journal article


Theological and secular voices in bioethics have drifted into separate silos. Such a separation results in part from (1) theologians focusing less on conveying ideas in ways that contribute to a pluralistic and public bioethical discourse and (2) the dwindling receptivity of religious arguments within secular bioethics. This essay works against these drifts by putting forward an argument that does not bounce around a religious echo-chamber, but instead demonstrates how insights of Christian anthropology can be meaningfully responsive to secular bioethics’ rightful concerns with inequality and injustice. We offer core concepts from Christian bioethics that encourage dialogue with secular and theological bioethicists. The theologically-grounded concepts, human dignity, sin, and the common good, provide intellectual resources to address major areas of bioethical concern that remain unresolved.

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