When “Farming and Faith Collide”: The Role of Agrarianism and Libertarianism in the Opposition to the ELCA’s Statement on Genetics and Faith

In 2010, a controversy erupted over the draft of a new social statement on genetics, as some people in farming communities claimed the document labeled using genetically engineered crops as sinful. Glenna and Stofferahn use this case study as a jumping off point to dive into what libertarianism looks like the United States today, particularly in an agrarian context. Can this political stance on the common good be compatible with Christianity?

Book Notes: Recent Works on the Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering (2 of 4)

With this December issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics, we bring the second installment in our series of notes on books addressing genetic engineering. For interested readers, the first of these columns appeared in the September issue. Works reviewed in this month’s column: David B. Resnik et al., Human Germline Gene Therapy Phillip Kitcher, […]

Book Notes: Recent Works on the Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering (1 of 4)

[1] This article inaugurates a column that will appear three or four times during the coming year. Its purpose is to review books addressing genetic engineering and its implications for the future of humanity. I’m using several criteria in selecting books to be discussed: 1) They will be directed to society at large, which means […]

Redesigning Humans: The Final Frontier

[1] Twenty years ago, bioengineers fiddled with plastic and wires and transducers while building gizmos. Today, a bioengineer is more likely to be tinkering with cells and chromosomes and genes while deciphering the stuff of life. [2] Gregory Stock’s book “Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future” preaches the promise of bioengineering-longer life and health spans, […]

Sweden, Stem Cell Research and Ethics: Two Weaknesses of the Debate

[1] Stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transfer (i.e. therapeutic cloning) were hotly debated in Sweden during autumn of 2001. Two years earlier, in 1999, the Swedish Medical Research Council had initiated an internal discussion, which resulted in a proposal for policy guidelines on the topic of stem cell research. In the year 2000, […]

The Human Question

[1] It was a year ago September during U.S. Senate hearings on embryonic stem cell research. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) took out a blank piece of paper, placed a pencil dot in the center of it, and held it up to Mary Tyler Moore. “This,” he declared, “is the size of the thing we’re talking […]

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 […]

Where Do You Stand? Perspectives on the Ethics of Stem Cell Research

[1] President Bush’s recent decision regarding the government funding of stem cell research illustrated the dilemma we face rather than resolving it. Allowing research to go forward on existing lines of embryonic stem cells acknowledges the concern of many that we pursue the promising possibilities of therapeutic benefits resulting from this research. At the same […]