The Last Shall Be First: Human Potential in Genetic and Theological Perspectives
Theology and Science
The notion of “human potential” provides a fruitful window through which to explore the competing conceptual frameworks of contemporary genetics and Christianity. The contemporary cultural frame of genetics conceives of human potential in a broadly positive manner: the source of personal and societal flourishing is located within individual bodies, waiting to be identified and unleashed by genetic science and medicine for the good of persons and society. In the Judeo-Christian narrative, human individual, biological potential is far less relevant—and, in fact, may be construed as an impediment to the achievement of personal and social flourishing. Implications for the dialogue between genetics and religion are discussed.