Directors | Statement of Purpose |
Project Fellows | Graduate Research Fellows | Religion and Genetics Events
R. Churchill Ph.D., Anne Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics,
Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Religion
Clayton, M.D., J.D., Rosalind E. Franklin Professor of Genetics
and Health Policy, Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Law
knowledge will become increasingly powerful over the next decades and
will continue to alter our understanding of who we are as human beings,
both individually and communally, how we are related to others, what
constitutes normality, health and illness, what human "improvement"
means, how we think about notions of personal responsibility, and what
humans can and should aim for in their social and political life. These
are all questions with religious meaning. But equally important, the
models, metaphors and imagery of genetics will exercise wide influence
on our self-perceptions, even if these images are unfounded in science,
and even in the absence of any useful genetic knowledge. We are convinced
that genetics has and will continue to shape religious understandings,
and in turn be shaped by them in a reciprocal social interaction. Thus,
there is a need for both conceptual and empirical inquiries into not
only the uses of genetic information, but also into the prevailing popular
models and metaphors for genetics, as held by both physician-scientists
and by the public, as these interact with religious sensibilities.
course of three years [2005-2008], the "Religion and Genetics"
research group will support a data-gathering, empirical project in conjunction
with an on-going theoretical and conceptual investigation. The data
gathering will focus on attitudes about genetics testing and the influence
of religious beliefs and practices on prenatal and other genetic testing.
The complementary theoretical arm of the project will be a systematic
review and analysis of the literature that connects religion and genetics,
with an eye toward the models and metaphors offered by each and their
mutual influence as idioms for understanding what it means to be human.
A chief goal will be to keep the scholarly theoretical domain of ideas
and concepts in constant conversation with the attitudes and lived experiences
of local people as this takes shape through the empirical side of the
project. The result will be a combined theoretical-and-empirical effort
that is much needed but seldom undertaken. It will have lasting value
to researchers and clinicians, but also, we believe, to the larger community.
J. Bliton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine (Philosophy)
Tene Hamilton Franklin, M.S., Genetic Counselor, Meharry Sickle Cell
Connie Graves, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
M.S., C.G.C, Pediatrics (Genetics Counseling)
Heitman, Ph.D., Department of Medicine (Religion)
Johnson, Ph.D., School of Nursing
Phillips, M.D., Department of Pediatrics
Trudy Stringer, M.Div., Divinity School
Misti Williams, Genetic Counselor, Assistant in Pediatrics, School of Medicine
Joshua E. Perry, J.D., M.T.S., Fellow, Center for Genetics and Health
Graduate Research Fellows
Joseph Fanning, Graduate Department of Religion
Kyle Galbraith, Graduate Department of Religion
Virginia Green-Bartlett, Graduate Department of Religion
Rachel Kwee, Vanderbilt Divinity School
Dan Morrison, Graduate School, Sociology
Derek Spires, Graduate School, English
and Genetics Events
April 11, Lecture: Audrey Chapman, Joseph M. Healey, Jr. Chair in Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Chapman is the author, co-author, or editor of 14 books and numerous articles and monographs related to human rights and religious ethics. Her areas of expertise include health and human rights, transitional justice research, and the ethical and religious issues related to genetic science.