Genome Editing - Creation, Kinds and Destiny: A Christian View

Stammers, Trevor (2017) Genome Editing - Creation, Kinds and Destiny: A Christian View. In: Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question, 3-5th April 2017, Doha, Qatar.

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Abstract

The mapping of the human genome and the subsequent development of techniques to alter it and edit it, raise fundamental questions about our destiny and that of our children – whether we ourselves can shape it in a way previously outside our ability and known only to God. Genomic editing also adds a new dimension the debate about therapy vs enhancement. Whereas both healing and enhancement have hitherto come from without in the form of drugs to be ingested or devices to be worn or implanted, both genomic therapy and enhancement (in contrast to genomic medicine in general) will come from within by rewriting “the language of God” to use Frances Collins’ phrase. The paper will explore themes from the accounts of creation and the Fall – imago dei, sicut deus, embodiment, dominion and co-creation - to see if these can offer any guidance as to what might distinguish therapy from enhancement and how the boundaries of ethical forms of genomic engineering might be determined. In particular it will be shown how the contrasting Augustinian and Irenaean understandings of the Fall lead to differing views of contemporary Christian scholars such as Wyatt and Cole-Turner on the ethics of genomic engineering. The paper concludes with an exploration of the concept of the genome as the ‘secular’ soul and the Human Genome Project and gene editing as a religious quest and how its telos resembles and differs from a scriptural view of human purpose and destiny.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 170 Ethics
200 Religion > 241 Christian ethics
School/Department: School of Education, Theology and Leadership
Depositing User: Kevin Sanders
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 08:18
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 08:18
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/1504

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