Here, experts in the environment, theology and science argue that the challenge posed to society by biotechnology lies not only in terms of risk/benefit analysis of individual genetic technologies and interventions, but also has implications for the way we think about human identity and our relationship to the natural world. Such a profound - they would suggest religious - challenge, requires a response that is genuinely interdisciplinary in nature, a conversation that draws as much on expertise in theology and philosophy as on the natural sciences and risk assessment techniques. They argue that an adequate response must also be sociologically informed in at least two ways. First it must draw on contemporary sociological insights about contemporary cultural change, the complex role of expert knowledge in modern complex society and the specific social dynamics of contemporary technological risks. Secondly, it must endeavour to pay sensitive attention to the voice of the lay public in the current controversy over the new genetics.
This book attempts to realise such an aim, as a contribution not just to academic scholarship, but also to the public debate about biotechnology and its regulation. Thus the collection includes contributions from scholars in a range of intellectual domains (indeed, many of the chapters themselves draw on more than one discipline in new and challenging ways). The book invites the reader to enter into this conversation in a creative way and come to appreciate more fully the many-sided nature of the debate.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction PART I: CURRENT DEBATES IN THEOLOGY Introduction to Part 1 1. Celia Deane-Drummond, Robin Grove-White and Bronislaw Szerszynski: Genetically Modified Theology, The Religious Dimensions of Public Concerns about Agricultural BiotechnologyChristopher Southgate: Response to Chapter 1 2. John Hedley Brooke: Detracting from Divine Power? Religious Belief and the Appraisal of New TechnologiesArthur Peacocke: Response to Chapter 2 3. Michael Banner: The Sublime, The Sabbath and the Limits of BiotechnologyMichael Reiss: Response to Chapter 3 4. Michael Northcott: 'Behold I Have Set the Land Before You' (Deut 1.8). Christian Ethics, GM Foods and the Culture of Modern FarmingPeter Scott: Response to Chapter 4 PART II: REFLECTIONS FROM SPECIFIC CASES Introduction to Part II 5. Arthur Peacocke: Relating Genetics to Theology on the Map of Scientific Knowledge 6. Michael Reiss: Is It Right to Move Genes between Species? A Theological Perspective 7. Donald Bruce: Playing Dice with Creation, How Risky Should the New Technologies Be? 8. Stephen Clark: Thinking about Biotechnology, Towards a Theory of Just Experimentation PART III: PUBLIC VOICES AND GENETIC TECHNOLOGIES Introduction to Part III 9. Mairi Levitt: 'Just Because We Can Do Something Doesn't Mean We Should', Young People's Responses to Biotechnology 10. Bronislaw Szerszynski: At Reason's End, The Inoperative Liturgy of Risk Society 11. Brian Wynne: Interpreting Public Concerns about GMOs PART IV: TECHNOLOGY, THEOLOGY AND SOCIETY Introduction to Part IV 12. Jacqui Stewart: Reordering Means and Ends, Ellul and the New Genetics 13. Peter Scott: Nature, Technology and the Rule of God, (En)Countering the Disgracing of Nature 14. Celia Deane-Drummond: Aquinas, Wisdom Ethics and the New Genetics 15. Bronislaw Szerszynski and Celia Deane-Drummond: The Reordering of Nature, a Post-Script List of Contributors Index
Professor Celia Deane-Drummond is Director of the Centre for Religion and the Biosciences at the University of Chester, UK. Robin Grove-White is Professor of Environment and Society at Lancaster University, UK. Dr Bronislaw Szerszynski is Lecturer in Environment and Culture at Lancaster University, UK.