Religion and bioethics: Toward an expanded understanding

Howard Brody, Arlene MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Before asking what U.S. bioethics might learn from a more comprehensive and more nuanced understanding of Islamic religion, history, and culture, a prior question is, how should bioethics think about religion? Two sets of commonly held assumptions impede further progress and insight. The first involves what "religion" means and how one should study it. The second is a prominent philosophical view of the role of religion in a diverse, democratic society. To move beyond these assumptions, it helps to view religion as lived experience as well as a body of doctrine and to see that religious differences and controversies should be welcomed in the public square of a diverse democratic society rather than merely tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Anthropology of religion
  • Bioethics
  • Rawls, John
  • Religion
  • Social-political philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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