European Bioethics II -- Disparate Hopes and Fears: An Introduction
Christian Bioethics 2009 April; 15(1): 1-16
This introduction supplies further bearing points for the conceptual map, which the introduction to the previous issue on European bioethics (2008/1) had provided for sorting out the various dimension in which the essays collected in these issues resemble and differ from each other. Special attention is devoted to communication, as diverse Christianities attend to different purposes, problems, and opportunities for normatively engaging (persuading, influencing, ruling, opposing, and converting) their surrounding secularized cultures. These differences reflect incompatible ways of conceiving Christ's acts of healing, as these provide a model for His disciples' bioethics. These differences also reflect diversely rationalist and noetic epistemologies. The subtext concerns the haunting question about the enduring sustainability of a specifically Christian bioethics in Europe. As Schotsmans opts for a Roman Catholicism that is not recognized as such by his Magisterium, as Muller transforms Protestantism into a religiously nonhostile laicity, as Messer and Silva da Barbosa hope for the prophetic impact of communal "cities on the hill," and as the Orthodox pursue the conversion of Western Europe in Greek, Russian, and Rumanian, ongoing Divine miracles present the most realistic hope.
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