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Science & the Human Person

Rapid advances in science and technology are raising fundamental questions about human life, flourishing, suffering, and death. The Science and the Human Person working group advances a global, interreligious and intercultural conversation about science, ethics, and the human future. Its activities will foster collaboration among secular scientific communities and the world’s two largest faith traditions, Islam and Catholicism, along with other secular and religious voices.

How do religious and secular traditions approach and contest bioethical questions of human dignity and integrity? How can communities coexist peacefully in the wake of unprecedented migrations or in the ashes of intercommunal violence? We weave together the major themes of the CM Rome 2015 plenary conference in a synthetic account that brings to bear relevant scholarship and looks both back at CM’s research trajectory, as well as forward to the future research and outreach agenda of the CM initiative. Read the full article »

Gender, Religion and IVF


Universal access to the continuum of reproductive healthcare by 2015 was identified among the UN Millennium Development Goals. But the question of whether, and to what extent, there is a social obligation to promote fertility or to guarantee universal access to infertility treatment (whatever the scope) continues to be contested. Read the full article »


The field of Neuroscience is changing our understanding of the way we live, move and have our being. In the last twenty years discoveries in Neuroscience have raised many questions for philosophers and scientists alike, as primary assumptions in the field regarding the immutability of the brain have proven to be incorrect. Read the full article »


Despite the combative relationship that some Muslims had with modern science during the colonial period, science still embodies the hope for the “future recovery” of Muslim societies, argues the historian of science Ahmad Dallal. Read the full article »


As the working group members of Contending Modernities think together how about Catholics and Muslims can work together on issues of bioethics—and with particular reference to how social structures impact and shape these issues—the problem of consumerism looms large. Read the full article »


In his recent blog post, Thomas Eich asks if particular issues of medical ethics are “really only about the issue at hand, as is usually claimed in the course of such debates?” “How strong is the presence of other factors in these debates,” he continues, “which are not directly linked to the medical technology under discussion?” Read the full article »


Iran, though not alone among Muslim-majority countries with active fertility clinics, is unusual in its acceptance of third-party reproductive techniques, including the use of donor eggs and embryos, as well as surrogacy. This may be all the more surprising since the Islamic Republic’s laws have been brought in line with Islamic law, and the legal use of such new technologies must be approved by the nation’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Read the full article »