Interreligious Perspectives on Mind, Genes and the Self: Emerging Technologies and Human Identity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Interreligious Perspectives on Mind, Genes and the Self

Emerging Technologies and Human Identity, 1st Edition

Edited by Joseph Tham, Chris Durante, Alberto García Gómez


218 pages

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pub: 2018-10-25
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Attitudes towards science, medicine and the body are all profoundly shaped by people’s worldviews. When discussing issues of bioethics, religion often plays a major role. In this volume, the role of genetic manipulation and neurotechnology in shaping human identity is examined from multiple religious perspectives. This can help us to understand how religion might affect the impact of the initiatives such as the UNESCO Declaration in Bioethics and Human Rights.

The book features bioethics experts from six major religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism. It includes a number of distinct religious and cultural views on the anthropological, ethical and social challenges of emerging technologies in the light of human rights and in the context of global bioethics. The contributors work together to explore issues such as: cultural attitudes to gene editing; neuroactive drugs; the interaction between genes and behaviours; the relationship between the soul, the mind and DNA; and how can clinical applications of these technologies benefit the developing world.

This is a significant collection, demonstrating how religion and modern technologies relate to one another. It will, therefore, be of great interest to academics working in bioethics, religion and the body, interreligious dialogue, and religion and science, technology and neuroscience.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Dafna Feinholz


Joseph Tham

1 Some Convergence of Religious Views on the Ethics of Neurogenetic Technologies

Alberto García Gómez and Claudia Ruiz Sotomayor

2 Cosmopolitan Conversations

Chris Durante


PART I Asian Religions: Buddhism

3 Neurogenomics and Neuroeudaimonics: Bioethical Challenges from the Buddhist Perspective

Ellen Y. Zhang

4 Meditation or Medication? A Buddhist Response

Soraj Hongladaron

5 A Christian Point of View on Buddhist Neuroethics

Colleen Gallagher


PART II Asian Religions: Confucianism

6 DNA, Brain, Mind, and Soul: A Confucian Perspective

Ruiping Fan

7 Confucian Bio-Philosophical Naturalism

Wenqing Zhao

8 Christian Reflections on Confucian Understandings of the Person

Paul I. Lee


PART III Asian Religions: Hinduism

9 Hinduism and Bioethical Challenges in Neurogenomics

Rahul Peter Das

10 Bioethical Challenges in Neurogenomics: Repositioning Hindu Bioethics

Deepak Sarma

11 Reflections on Neurogenetic Challenges to Human Dignity and Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church

María Elisabeth de los Ríos


PART IV Monotheistic Religions: Christianity and Catholicism

12 Neurogenomics from the Catholic tradition: A succinct anthropological perspective based on recent developments

Alberto Carrara and Giulia Bovassi

13 Technological Advances and the Common Good: A Protestant Christian Response

John K. Graham

14 A Jewish Perspective on Neuroethics and Religion

Mirko Garasic


PART V Monotheistic Religions: Islam

15 Responsibly Seeking Knowledge: an Islamic Understanding of Neurogenomics and Enhancement

Mustafa Abu Sway

16 Ruminations on the Islamic Understanding of Neurogenomics from a Hindu Perspective

John Lunstroth

17 The Ethical Challenges of Neurogenomics: Nuancing the Islamic Discourse

Aasim I. Padela


PART VI Monotheistic Religions: Judaism

18 If I Only Had Three Eyes! Jewish Perspectives on Genetic Enhancement

Jonathan K. Crane

19 The Absurdity and Profanity of Transforming Human Nature. Further Reflections on Genetic Enhancement from a Jewish Perspective

David Heyd

20 Enhancement, Hubris and Vulnerability of the Human Nature: a Response to the Jewish Perspective

Laura Palazzani



21 Interreligious Perspectives on Emerging Technologies

Joseph Tham

About the Editors

Joseph Tham teaches bioethics at Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, Rome, Italy, and is the former Dean of the School of Bioethics. He is a Fellow of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights.

Chris Durante is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology at Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey, USA, as well as a Fellow of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics & Human Rights, where he serves as the Academic Coordinator of the Bioethics, Multiculturalism & Religion workshops.

Alberto García Gómez is the director of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, Rome, Italy. He is Professor of Philosophy of Law and International Law at the School of Bioethics of Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. Furthermore, he is a researcher of the Human Rights Institute at Complutense University.

About the Series

Routledge Science and Religion Series

Science and religion have often been thought to be at loggerheads but much contemporary work in this flourishing interdisciplinary field suggests this is far from the case. The Science and Religion Series presents exciting new work to advance interdisciplinary study, research and debate across key themes in science and religion. Contemporary issues in philosophy and theology are debated, as are prevailing cultural assumptions. The series enables leading international authors from a range of different disciplinary perspectives to apply the insights of the various sciences, theology, philosophy and history in order to look at the relations between the different disciplines and the connections that can be made between them. These accessible, stimulating new contributions to key topics across science and religion will appeal particularly to individual academics and researchers, graduates, postgraduates and upper-undergraduate students.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Comparative Religion
RELIGION / Religion & Science
SCIENCE / Biotechnology