Studies in Christian Ethics 26 (1):18-36 (2013)

Does human nature possess normative significance? If so, what is it and what implications does it have for biotechnology? This essay critically examines three answers to these questions. One answer focuses on human nature as the ground of natural goods or goods dependent on human nature, another answer finds normative significance in the indeterminacy or malleability of human nature, and a third answer treats human nature as a natural sign of divine grace. Kathryn Tanner, who offers the second answer, and Karl Barth, who offers the third, deny that nature has normative status in itself, apart from grace, but differ over the relation of grace to human nature as created. While indebted to Tanner, this essay favors Barth’s view as best suited to a Christian ethics of biotechnology
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DOI 10.1177/0953946812466484
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