Christian Bioethics 2 (2):253-266 (1996)

To comprehend pain, disease, death and suffering as being meaningful - beyond the firing of synapses, the collapse of human abilities, and the mere end of life - requires a context in which to evaluate essential connotations, as well as to place and integrate understandings. If pain and suffering are to have enduring significance, they must be situated within a nest of ontological background assumptions, standards of inquiry, and epistemological foundations. Where secular bioethics fails to give deep meaning to suffering, Christian bioethics succeeds. This essay analyzes the divergent meanings of suffering endorsed by the various Christian religions as conceptualized through the different metaphysical, epistemological, and sociological assumptions of each religion
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DOI 10.1093/cb/2.2.253
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