The sanctity of life becomes an ambiguous and illusive notion by the advance of embryology and genetics, particularly human embryonic stem cell research. Major themes generated in North American theological and ethical discussions on this important hermeneutical theme for this century, in overall, do not seem toovercome fully their Western legacies of substantialism, individualism, anthropocentricism (dignity, person, and respect as individual entity). From an East Asian Christian perspective, the sanctity of life rather implies the imperative for a life to realize itself to the fullest end of what it ought to be. This involves the diligentpractice of sanctification and self-cultivation in respect (or mindfulness 敬). A researcher in a laboratory is also a human person who needs to engage in this rigorous practice of mindfulness. This may be the prerequisite to exercise one’s freedom to help other forms of life accomplish their imperative for self-realization Finally, the sanctity of life from an East Asian Christian perspective means a fulfillment and embodiment of the proleptic Tao, in its own freedom of life (wu-wei 無爲). After all, both science and religion are taos for life, the great openness for cosmic vitality (saeng-myeong 生命)
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI wcp22200851135
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