Ruth's Resolve: What Jesus' Great-Grandmother May Teach About Bioethics and Care
Hall, Amy Laura
Christian Bioethics 2005 April; 11(1): 35-50
When thinking about the intersection of care and Christian bioethics, it is helpful to follow closely the account of Ruth, who turned away from security and walked alongside her grieving mother-in-law to Bethlehem. Remembering Ruth may help one to heed Professor Kaveny's summoning of Christians to remember "the Order of Widows" and the church's historic calling to bring "the almanah into its center rather than pushing her to its margins." Disabled, elderly and terminally ill people often seem, at least implicitly, expendable. By hearing the scriptural account of Jesus' steadfast great-grandmother, readers may recall another way. One may read Ruth's care for Naomi as a performative, prophetic act of faith. Ruth's faithful resolve, when set next to Orpah's prudent way, challenges the notion that a bioethic of care is innately feminine, and may further call women and men corporately to participate in a kind of care that is strenuous work.
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