Modern medicine has produced many wonderful technological breakthroughs that have extended the limits of the frail human body. However, much of the focus of this medical research has been on the physical, often reducing the human being to a biological machine to be examined, understood, and controlled. This book begins by asking whether the modern medical milieu has overly objectified the body, unwittingly or not, and whether current studies in bioethics are up to the task of restoring a fuller understanding of the human person. In response, various authors here suggest that a more theological/religious approach would be helpful, or perhaps even necessary.
Presenting specific perspectives from Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the book is divided into three parts: "Understanding the Body," "Respecting the Body," and "The Body at the End of Life." A panel of expert contributors—including philosophers, physicians, and theologians and scholars of religion— answer key questions such as: What is the relationship between body and soul? What are our obligations toward human bodies? How should medicine respond to suffering and death? The resulting text is an interdisciplinary treatise on how medicine can best function in our societies.
Offering a new way to approach the medical humanities, this book will be of keen interest to any scholars with an interest in contemporary religious perspectives on medicine and the body.
Table of Contents
Foreword; Introduction; Prologue: Which Medicine? Whose Religion? PART I: Understanding the Body 1 Responsibility for the Broken Body: Exploring the Invitation to Respond to the Presence of the Other 2 Embodied Soul and Ensouled Body: Reflections on Ravaisson and Theological Methodology 3 Judaism on the Body and the Practice of Medicine 4 "The Believer is Never Impure": Islam and Understanding the Embodied Person PART II: Respecting the Body 5 Reverence for the Body: An Ethical Principle Grounded in Human Experience 6 Healthy Legacies? Moses Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas on Caring for Others and Ourselves 7 Islam, Medicine, and Practice: The Manifestation of Islamic Moral Values in Everyday Aspects of the U.S. Health Care System 8 A Shared Common Good: Catholic and Muslim Bioethical Approaches to HIV/AIDS in Kenya PART III: The Body at the End of Life 9 In the Land of Pain: Why Daudet and Hitchens Are Still Relevant 10 Suffering, Death, and the Significance of Presence 11 The Dead Body as an Object of Investigation, Intrigue, and Reverence 12 Defining Death in the Context of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives
John J. Fitzgerald is Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John’s University, USA. He specializes in ethics, with particular attention to fundamental and health care issues. He has published one other book, The Seductiveness of Virtue: Abraham Joshua Heschel and John Paul II on Morality and Personal Fulfillment (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017), and written multiple articles on ethics and religion in academic journals.
Ashley John Moyse is McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow in Christian Ethics and Public Life at Christ Church, University of Oxford, UK. His research is located at the intersection of theological and philosophical ethics, with particular interest in bioethics and medical humanities. His research has been presented and published internationally, including his book Reading Karl Barth, Interrupting Moral Technique, Transforming Biomedical Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).