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The Old Testament of the Bible is rife with instances of creative procreation in response to God's call to be fruitful and multiply. Remember Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar?
Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Definitions and Moral Issues

Publication Date:
10/14/2009
Pages:
0
Session(s)
2
Product Type:
Internet Download
Adult Study
Product Number:
TC0367

While many Christians adhere to the notion that conventionally conceived children are a gift from God, many Christians who are infertile, homosexual, single, or who face other reproductive challenges consider the scientific technology that enables them to have children to be a gift from God as well.

As is often the case, scientific advances and moral absolutes rarely keep pace with one another. And, as is always the case, it helps to know the facts.

In this two-session study, we'll consider the brave new world of assisted reproductive technologies, or ARTs. We'll explore the basic technologies and terminology, and define and discuss the medical and ethical pros and cons of procedures such as in vitro fertilization; egg, embryo, and sperm donation; gestational surrogacy; and prenatal genetic diagnosis.

Based on a solid foundation of knowledge, we will then discuss historical and contemporary Christian responses to issues of reproduction, the definitions of "family," and consider how our own congregations can provide social and spiritual support for members who yearn for children but who do not fit the mold of the traditional family unit.

After all, before we pass judgment on the lengths to which some people will go to have a child, we should remember the Old Testament story of Abraham and his wife, Sarah. When Sarah was unable to bear him a child, he simply impregnated Hagar, Sarah's maid, as was the custom of the day.

Kate Ott is Assistant Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Drew University, Theological School. Ott published "Searching for an Ethic: Sexuality, Children, and Moral Agency" in New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views and is also co-editor of Just Hospitality: God's Welcome in a World of Difference and Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation.


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