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Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing$
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Erik Parens and Josephine Johnston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190940362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190940362.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 August 2020

Recovering Practical Wisdom as a Guide for Human Flourishing

Recovering Practical Wisdom as a Guide for Human Flourishing

Navigating the CRISPR Challenge

(p.184) 13 Recovering Practical Wisdom as a Guide for Human Flourishing
Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing

Celia Deane-Drummond

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that practical wisdom understood according to the classic Christian tradition of Thomas Aquinas can contribute to reflection on complex decision-making when considering new genetic technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 and their potential relationship to human flourishing. Christian theology conceives of the goal of human life as perfection of virtues, according to a beatific vision where Christ is the image of God for all those in the community of believers. Flourishing is therefore conceived in very different terms compared with secular notions of individual health or longevity. Further, practical wisdom works at the level of the individual, family, society, and nation in a way that confronts a tendency to stress individual autonomy in secular medical ethics. The implications of this perspective are discussed in light of current debates on the new genetics.

Keywords:   practical wisdom, flourishing, beatific vision, flourishing, virtues, Thomas Aquinas, Christian theology, gene editing

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