Latest Articles Include:
- European Bioethics II--Disparate Hopes and Fears: An Introduction
- Christ Bioeth 15(1):1-16 (2009)
This introduction supplies further bearing points for the conceptual map, which the introduction to the previous issue on European bioethics (2008/1) had provided for sorting out the various dimension in which the essays collected in these issues resemble and differ from each other. Special attention is devoted to communication, as diverse Christianities attend to different purposes, problems, and opportunities for normatively engaging (persuading, influencing, ruling, opposing, and converting) their surrounding secularized cultures. These differences reflect incompatible ways of conceiving Christ's acts of healing, as these provide a model for His disciples' bioethics. These differences also reflect diversely rationalist and noetic epistemologies. The subtext concerns the haunting question about the enduring sustainability of a specifically Christian bioethics in Europe. As Schotsmans opts for a Roman Catholicism that is not recognized as such by his Magisterium, as M! uller transforms Protestantism into a religiously nonhostile laicity, as Messer and Silva da Barbosa hope for the prophetic impact of communal "cities on the hill," and as the Orthodox pursue the conversion of Western Europe in Greek, Russian, and Rumanian, ongoing Divine miracles present the most realistic hope.
- Christian Bioethics in Europe: In Defense against Reductionist Influences from the United States
- Christ Bioeth 15(1):17-30 (2009)
Christian ideas have continued to inspire European bioethics until now. The central thesis of this essay is that the open-mindedness of Roman Catholic and other Christian denominations in Europe is crucial for understanding why Christian ethics is so well integrated in the European culture. The essay describes first the institutional frameworks in which these Christian mainly Roman Catholic ideas are developed. It analyzes further the difference between the secular Anglo-American and European bioethics as it has been influenced by these Christian ideas. It finally summarizes the challenges to which Europe's Christian bioethical identity is presently exposed to. The essay states that the Christian inspiration of European bioethics is mainly connected with the ideologically moderate, tolerant, and dialogical participation of Christian bioethicists in the bioethical debate in Europe.
- Christian Engagement with Public Bioethics in Britain: The Case of Human Admixed Embryos
- Christ Bioeth 15(1):31-53 (2009)
This paper offers an assessment of the prospects for Christian engagement with public bioethical debates in a contemporary British context. One recent example, the debate provoked by proposed legislation for research involving human admixed embryos, is examined briefly. It is argued that this debate has some problematic features that are characteristic of public ethical debates in this context. Next, a proposal is offered as to how such bioethical questions may be approached from within a Christian theological tradition (specifically, a Reformed Protestant tradition). This proposed approach makes use of four "diagnostic questions" to assess whether technological proposals and practices such as the creation of human admixed embryos can be consistent with the distinctive Christian narrative of creation, sin, salvation through Christ, and promised future hope. The final section offers some reflections on how Christians and churches might engage, on the basis of this theol! ogical approach, with public ethical debates such as the one about admixed embryos.
- How Christian Norms Can Have an Impact on Bioethics in a Pluralist and Democratic Europe: A Scandinavian Perspective
- Christ Bioeth 15(1):54-73 (2009)
This article assesses the similarity and difference between the Western European style of doing bioethics and the Scandinavian one. First, it reviews the introductory article by the editor, C. Delkeskamp-Hayes in the first issue of Christian Bioethics (2008), devoted to the possibility of a specifically Christian bioethics in Europe. Second, it analyses bioethics debates in Scandinavian today. In light of Delkeskamp-Hayes' article, the main similarity is that both regions are facing secularization as a threat to basic Christian values, for example, to the Christian view of the sanctity and dignity of the human life. But the Scandinavian tends to reduce Christian bioethics to Luther's concept of the worldly kingdom, supposed to foster a dialogue between Christians and non-Christians on controversial ethical issues. Despite the positive value of the dialogue, this strategy renders Christian ethics powerless. Third, from an evangelical theological standpoint, it proposes ! some strategies for enhancing the influence of Christian commitments on bioethical laws and policies.
- Open "Laicity" and Secularity versus Ideological Secularism: Lessons from Switzerland
- Christ Bioeth 15(1):74-85 (2009)
In order to avoid both religious intolerance and religious indifference, we need to develop a positive notion of an open laicity or secularity that permits us to respect our religiously plural as well as secular contemporary situation. Open laicity or secularity is the practical and political consequence of a Protestant theology and spirituality. It represents a critical answer to the disaster of secularism and laicism. Most of the difficulties in the discussion between traditionalist Christians (Orthodox, Catholic, or Evangelical!) and modern, critical Christians (Protestant, Catholic, and maybe some Orthodox too!) come from a confusion between the danger of secularism and laicism, that this article criticizes very deeply, and the positive reality of a secular world, grounded in the very biblical and theological understanding of a created world, in which God has given to all human beings the task to behave in a rational, responsible, creative, and respectful way.
- Christian Bioethics in a Western Europe after Christendom
- Christ Bioeth 15(1):86-100 (2009)
Europe has taken on a new, post-Christian, if not a somewhat anti-Christian character. The tension between Western Europe's ever more secular present and its substantial Christian past lies at the heart of Western Europe's current struggle to articulate a coherent cultural and moral identity. The result is that Western European mainline churches are themselves in the midst of an identity crisis, thus compounding Western Europe's identity crisis. Christian bioethics in Europe exists against the backdrop of these profound cultural cross currents that define the European condition, engender conflicts regarding the meaning of being Western European and being Christian, and bring the public significance and role of Western European bioethics, especially Western European Christian bioethics, into question. The dominant culture of the public forum is post-Christian and post-traditional, although traditional Christianity still asserts its voice. Denis Muller in his paper has c! larified the choice between a traditional-fundamentalist Christian Bioethics and a revisionist, progressive Christian Bioethics.