Bioethics I: Biology, Medicine, and the Contours of Human Life

JPI 617

This course develops foundations for bioethical inquiry in view of the doctrine of creation, the nuptial anthropology proposed by John Paul II, and seminal documents from the recent magisterium of the Church. Bioethics I provides theological, historical-cultural, and biological context for reflection on particular issues, with an eye also to the contributions of recent thinkers including Robert Spaemann, Hans Jonas, and Stephen Talbott, whose work exposes the dualism and materialism that has shaped modern science and medicine, and points the way to a more adequate vision of the embodied person amid the vicissitudes of birth, illness, and death. Specific bioethical issues are treated in Bioethics II. (Fundamental Moral Theology: Freedom and Human Action is highly recommended as a background.)

Course Texts for Fall 2021

• Course compendium – available from Cognella
• Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (HarperCollins, 1998).
• Robert George and Christopher Tollefsen, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life (Doubleday, 2008) ISBN 978-0385522823.
• John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body ISBN 978-0819874214.
• Hans Jonas, The Phenomenon of Life (Northwestern University, 2001) ISBN 9780810117495.
• Leon Kass, Toward a More Natural Science, (Free Press, 1988) ISBN 978-0029170717.
• Evelyn Fox Keller, Refiguring Life: Metaphors of Twentieth-Century Biology (Columbia University Press, 1995) ISBN-13: 978-0231102056.
• Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1970).
• Joe Sachs, Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (Rutgers, 1995) ISBN 978-0813521923.
• Angelo Scola, The Nuptial Mystery (Eerdmans, 2005), ISBN 978-0802828316.

Associated Faculty

« Back to Courses