Book Announcement
Sacred Cells? Why Christians Should Support
Stem Cell Research

By Ted Peters, Karen Lebacqz, and Gaymon Bennett

Sacred Cells Cover

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Cloth 0-7425-6288-3 / 978-0-7425-6288-2
  Jul 2008 272pp

"Sacred Cells? is a well crafted book about whether stem cell research is ethically, as well as socially and politically, acceptable by people of faith. The authors know the science and practices involved and report them in an engaging narrative. The authors bring clarity, precision, and depth to the subject, seeking to convince the reader by their multidimensional discussion, not by demeaning other beliefs or opinions. A wonderful book."—Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine
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Unknown to most outside observers, from the earliest days of embryonic stem cell research through today's latest developments, Christian theologians have been actively involved with leading laboratory research scientists to determine the ethical implications of stem cell research. And contrary to popular expectation, these Christians have been courageously advocating in favor of research. Three of these dynamic theologians tell their story in Sacred Cells? Why Christians Should Support Stem Cell Research.

Sacred Cells? takes readers through the twists and turns of stem cell development, providing a brief history of the science and an overview of the competing ethical frameworks people use in approaching the heated debate. Each new scientific advance, from the cloning of Dolly the sheep to the use of engineered cells in humans, had to be carefully considered before proceeding. Rejecting the widely held belief that the ethics of stem cell research turn on the moral status of the embryo, the authors carefully weigh a diversity of ethical problems. Ultimately, they embrace stem cell research and the prospect of increased health and well being it offers.

About the Authors
Ted Peters is professor of systematic theology at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union. He is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, co-editor of the journal Theology and Science, and has published widely on genetic research and its ethical implications.

Karen Lebacqz is professor emerita of theological ethics at Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union. She has published widely on theories of justice, feminist ethics, professional ethics, and bioethics. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, she has served as consultant to the U.S. Congress on policies dealing with human subjects in experimentation.

Gaymon Bennett is director of ethics at the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as a minister in the Church of the Nazarene and has published on the relations of science, theology, anthropology, and ethics.

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