Main Theme

Ethical Dilemmas of Surrogacy: Christian Discourse in Contemporary Socio-Cultural Context

The article assesses bioethical issues of surrogacy from а Christian perspective and the possibility of adopting a cryopreserved embryo in the current socio-cultural context. Pregnancy of an adopting woman represents only a visible, technical similarity to the surrogacy; it is now commonly called “snowflake adoption.” In fact, such a pregnancy implies a different meaning and different goals.

How Far Can We Go with Medically Assisted Reproduction? (Comments to the Conclusions of the National Advisory Committee on Ethics)

One of France’s leading bioethics experts discusses the debate around assisted reproductive technologies, in particular, the issue of legal access to such technologies for single women and same-sex female couples. The author offers his detailed — and mostly critical — commentary on the advisory documents, issued by the “National Ethics Advisory Committee”, a special body created to publicly discuss issues of bioethics legislation.

The Christian Foundations of Fritz Jahr’s Concept of Bio-Ethik and Contemporary Central European Perspective

The article presents the concept of Bio-Ethik by the German theologian Fritz Jahr (1895–1953) and discusses the reasons of the interest to his legacy in Central Europe. The popularity of Fritz Jahr’s works fits into the specific context of a complex development of bioethics in Central Europe at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Bioethics and the Culture Wars

The term “culture wars” has been used to describe deep, apparently intractable, disagreements between groups for many years. In contemporary discourse, it refers to disputes regarding significant moral matters carried out in the public square and for which there appears to be no way to achieve consensus or compromise. One set of battle lines is drawn between those who hold traditional Christian commitments and those who do not. Christian bioethics is nested in a set of moral and metaphysical understandings that collide with those of the dominant secular culture.

Moral Content, Tradition, and Grace: Rethinking the Possibility of a Christian Bioethics

Birth, suffering, disability, disease and death were by medicine’s successes placed within a context of seemingly novel challenges that cried out for new responses. Secular bioethics rose in response to the demands of these new biomedical technologies in the context of a culture fragmented in moral pluralism. While secular bioethics promised to unite persons separated by diverse religious and moral assumption, this is a promise that could not be fulfilled.

From “Bioethics” to “Christian Bioethics”: Significance of H.T. Engelhardt’s Legacy in Today’s Russia

A perception of “Christian bioethics” developed by the American philosopher Hugo Tristram Engelhardt in Russia requires a systematic interdisciplinary analysis. This is due to the realities of medical practice, as well as cultural and historical differences between the Russian and American societies. In Russia, there are certain difficulties in the open discussion of ethical issues in the public sphere.

Sectarian, Missionary, Philanthropist: A Microhistory of the Orenburg Sabbaterian Pyotr Maklakov

Drawing upon materials from the State Archive of the Orenburg Region, the article reconstructs the biography, religious views and practices of the peasant Pyotr Maklakov, who “dropped out of Orthodoxy into the Sabbaterian sect” and actively propagated “the Jewish faith” among the inhabitants of the Orenburg district in the late 19th — early 20th centuries.

Old Believers Wanderers in the Second Half of the 19th — Early 20th Century (Based upon Reports of Kargopol Missionaries)

The article discusses the patterns of everyday life of the Old Believerswanderers in the territory of Kargopol district of the Olonets province. It draws upon new archival materials of church and secular origin, as well as a number of significant works by the missionaries. The study explores peculiarities of the wanderers’ worldview, the forms and methods of their preaching activity, and the structure of their communities. The wonderers’ teaching was deeply eschatological, which led to a complete break with “the world of Antichrist”.

“Living by Spirit, not by Flesh”: Demographic Behavior of the Postniks

Religious studies devote considerable attention to the research of doctrinal influences on social behavior and everyday practices among followers of various religious movements. This study analyzes the demographic behavior of the postniks (one of the “old Russian sectarian” movements) in the Tambov region of the early twentieth century. The paper relies on the relational database developed by the authors during this research. The systematization of archival statistical data and other sources allows the authors to take a closer look at the postniks’ religious life.

Reigning with Christ for a Thousand Years: Two Prophets of Russian Millennialism

The article explores the crossroads of two surviving groups of “old Russian sectarianism” — Molokan Jumpers and JehovistsIl’intsy — for whom the anticipation of the millennial kingdom on earth was a central doctrinal tenet. Researchers in the past, as well as modern scholars of religion, usually have not paid attention to the connection between the two movements, which was at one time quite substantial both in the doctrinal and the practical sense.