A Theologians' Brief: On the Place of the Human Embryo within the Christian Tradition & the Theological Principles for Evaluating Its Moral Status

By Jones, David | Ethics & Medicine, Fall 2001 | Go to article overview

A Theologians' Brief: On the Place of the Human Embryo within the Christian Tradition & the Theological Principles for Evaluating Its Moral Status


Jones, David, Ethics & Medicine


On behalf of an ad hoc group of Christian theologians from the Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox and Reformed traditions and endorsed by:

Cardinal Cabal B Daly, BA MA DD, Peritus at Vatican II, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, Primate Emeritus of All Ireland.

(ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED TO THE HOUSE OF LORDS SELECT COMMITTEE ON STEM CELL RESEARCH IST JUNE 2001 BY AN AD HOC GROUP OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIANS FROM THE ANGLICAN, CATHOLIC, ORTHODOX AND REFORMED TRADITIONS)

PREPARED BY REV DAVID JONES MA MA MST, DIRECTOR OF THE LINACRE CENTRE FOR HEALTHCARE ETHICS, LONDON.

ON BEHALF OF AN AD HOC GROUP OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIANS FROM THE ANGLICAN, CATHOLIC, ORTHODOX AND REFORMED TRADITIONS AND ENDORSED BY:

CARDINAL CAHAL B DALY, BA MA DD, PERITUS AT VATICAN II, ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS OF ARMAGH, PRIMATE EMERITUS OF ALL IRELAND.

RT REV KALLISTOS WARE, MA DPHIL, BISHOP OF DIOKLEIA IN THE ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF THYATEIRA AND GREAT BRITAIN, LECTURER IN EASTERN ORTHODOX STUDIES, OXFORD UNIVERSITY.

MOST REV ROWAN WILLIAMS, MA DPHIL DD, FBA, BISHOP OF MONMOUTH, ARCHBISHOP OF WALES.

REV PROF BENEDICT M ASHLEY OP, MA STL PHD PHD STM, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, CENTER FOR HEALTHCARE ETHICS, ST LOUIS UNIVERSITY, ST LOUIS, MISSOURI.

DR MARGARET ATKINS, MA MA PHD, LECTURER IN THEOLOGY, TRINITY AND ALL SAINTS COLLEGE, LEEDS.

REV PROF MICHAEL BANNER, BA DPHIL, PROFESSOR OF MORAL AND SOCIAL THEOLOGY, KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON.

REV PROF NIGEL M DE S CAMERON, MA BD PHD, PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY AND CULTURE, TRINITY INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, ILLINOIS,

PROF CELIA DEANE-DRUMMOND, BA MA PHD PHD, PROFESSOR IN THEOLOGY AND THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, CHESTER COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL.

PROF MICHAEL J GORMAN, BA MDIV PHD, DEAN, THE ECUMENICAL INSTITUTE OF THEOLOGY, PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT AND EARLY CHURCH HISTORY, ST MARY'S UNIVERSITY AND SEMINARY, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.

PROF VIGEN GUROIAN, BA PHD, PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY AND ETHICS, LOYOLA COLLEGE, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, VISITING LECTURER, ST NERSESS ARMENIAN SEMINARY.

PROF ANDREW LOUTH, MA MA MTH DD, PROFESSOR OF PATRISTUC AND BYZANTINE STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM.

PROF WILLIAM E MAY, BA MA PHD, PROFESSOR OF MORAL THEOLOGY, JOHN PAUL 11 INSTITUTE FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY, WASHINGTON.

REV HERBERT MCCABE OP, STL BA STM, LECTURER IN THEOLOGY, BLACKFRIARS HALL, OXFORD.

PROF GILBERT MEILAENDER, BA MDIV PHD, PROFESSOR OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS, VALPARAISO, INDIANA.

PROF JOHN MILBANK, BA MA PHD DD, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHICAL THEOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.

REV DR AIDAN NICHOLS OP, STL MA DIPTHEOL PHD, AFFILIATED LECTURER, DIVINITY FACULTY, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, LECTURER IN THEOLOGY, BLACKFRIARS HALL, OXFORD.

REV PROF OLIVER O'DONOVAN, MA DPHIL, CANON OF CHRISTI CHURCH, REGIUS PROFESSOR OF MORAL AND PASTORAL THEOLOGY, OXFORD UNIVERSITY

REV TERENCE PHIPPS MA AM STL, LECTURER IN MORAL THEOLOGY, ALLEN HALL, LONDON.

PROF JOHN RIST, MA, FRSC, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, VISITING PROFESSOR, INSTITUTUM PATRISTICUM AUGUSTINIANUM, ROME.

PROF JOHN SAWARD, BA MUTT, PROFESSOR OF DOGMATIC THEOLOGY, INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, GAMING AUSTRIA, AQUINAS FELLOW, PLATER COLLEGE, OXFORD.

DR ROBERT SONG, MA DPHIL, LECTURER IN THEOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM.

REV DR THOMAS G WEINANDY OFMCAP, BA MA MA PHD, WRADEN, TUTORIAL FELLOW IN THEOLOGY, GREYFRIARS, OXFORD.

Basis of This Submission

1. In a multi-cultural and multi-religious society, it is appropriate to take account not only of secular arguments concerning the place of the human embryo but also of arguments expressed in the religious language of some sections of the community. It is particularly important to understand the Christian tradition in this regard because of the place Christianity has had in shaping the moral understanding of many citizens in this country, and because this tradition has already been invoked in the context of public debate. …

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