Author: Hans Tiefel

Watching Our Language: The Human Embryo Stem Cell Controversy

[1] The current human embryo debate seems ever so familiar to those who remember earlier controversies over human cloning, fetal experimentation, and abortion. Positions crystallize in familiar patterns; the same moral principles reappear; similar charges and counter-charges detonate. If we are at war — culture-wars — then these topics exemplify our hostilities. We are familiar […]

Responses to Bob Benne on Civil Religion

[1] Bob Benne’s questions, whether American civil religion offers more than meets the critical neo-orthodox eyes, whether its nationalistic affections may be transformed by the universal perspectives of Abrahamic religions, expresses a magnanimous and inclusive spirit. His essay brings to mind Paul’s generous approach to the Athenians. Paul acknowledges their religiosity (without a word about […]

Naming What is at Stake

[1] In her reflections on the recent terror, Karen Bloomquist writes, “An adequate response by the churches needs to begin with a clear theological naming of what is at stake.” That strikes me as insightful and fruitful for our shared deliberations. Of course these events came already named as acts of terror. Terrorism means targeting […]

Three Questions about President Bush’s Embryonic Stem Cell Policy

[1] Tiefel asks three questions of us: What sort of language we should use when speaking of stem cells outside of science, what place does the religious voice have in the public arena in this matter, and how can we speak of the moral ambiguity which has been called to our attention. Three questions about […]