Exploring 21st-century belief

Author: Nat Huston (page 1 of 3)

In the realm of spiritual searchers: the ethical impact of Buddhist practices on Christian practitioners

On the spiritual search One of the burning questions that led me to study theology was, what is the source or ground of ethics? Now, Jesus was, among other things, an unparalleled teacher of ethics, but what happens to those Christians whose search moves beyond the original naivete that tells them that ethics is simply […]

Constructing the human by the light of science: theological anthropology of Barbour, Peacocke and Hefner

The most striking feature of the universe is…the fact that we are here to ask questions about it at all. [i] INTRODUCTION What is a human being? What is distinctive about us, that makes us humans and not something else? One’s answer probably tells as much about one’s own perspective as it does about the […]

The Trials of Gene Therapy: Ethical Issues in the Death of Jesse Gelsinger

Study Guide for the play “Eli’s Gift” The play “Eli’s Gift” is a fictionalized story based very closely on the death of Jesse Gelsinger in 1999 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Human Gene Therapy. All of the public events in the play mirror those of Gelsinger’s death and its aftermath; some of the […]

Relatedness and empowerment: toward a new poverty-reduction agenda for the emerging civil society

In this thesis, I use language which specifically addresses an audience to which I belong, which I am disposed to name as us – the prosperous, the satisfied, those in power, we in the United States who live above the poverty line. For reasons that I hope will be clear, it is fitting to couch my […]

Beyond the deep brain-stem: the openness of the native dreamer

There is no easy way for science to authentically engage cultural and religious reports of encounter in dreams, to the extent that a communication is believed or known to be occurring between the dreamer and a larger encompassing reality. But there are reasons to go beyond neurological explanation of the functioning of the dream state, […]

Can Christian ethics countenance a coup d’etat? The case of Ecuador, January 21, 2000

A political uprising erupts in response to injustice, corruption, poverty and suffering. A democracy is overturned in the name of a more authentic democracy. The instigators put forward powerful ethical arguments to justify their action against the state. At the same time, they employ both indigenous  identity and the threat of military force to ensure […]

Rethinking the state of nature: Locke’s second treatise of government

This essay critiques John Locke’s ideal construction of human beings in the “State of Nature” of perfect freedom, which provides the theoretical starting point for his Second Treatise of Government. Locke’s vision of atomistic individuals in a “State of Nature,” each a law unto himself, is not intended to be “real” – he does not […]

Morality emergent or morality commanded: biology and theology in the thinking of Rolston and Hefner

The goal of this paper is to consider the ground of ethics in light of contemporary biological science and the implications of that science for how theology might frame the emergence of ethical humanity. Can ethics be conceived as entirely biologically based? Or does any ethics require a metaphysical basis? Do new understandings of the […]

The world that continues: rethinking apocalyptic vision

INTRODUCTION In some way, eschatology – the vision of an end to this world, and the ushering in by God of a new one, the kingdom of heaven – is essential to Christianity. Lutheran theologian Ted Peters reflects the common understanding when he says “we cannot explicate the gospel without thinking eschatologically.” [i] Yet some […]

Theological aesthetics of performance in art

– Let me tell you about the weirdest experience I had the other day. I was mountain biking in Marin with my brother. We were in this very beautiful place. Near the end of the day, we’re coming through these pastures, horse country, and we stop by this little stream. I’m sitting there and I’m […]

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