Center Assistant Professor Dr. Devan Stahl and Dr. Adam Pryor (Bethany College) are co-editors of the book The Body and Ultimate Concern: Reflections on an Embodied Theology of Paul Tillich, published in October 2018 by Mercer University Press.
Dr. Stahl also contributed a chapter titled “Tillich and Transhumanism.”
Paul Tillich’s account of “ultimate concern” has been crucial for his theological legacy. It is a concept that has been taken up and adapted by many theologians in an array of subfields. However, Tillich’s own account of ultimate concern and many of the subsequent uses of it have focused on intelligibility: the ways it makes what is ultimate more accessible to us as rational beings. This volume charts a different course by placing Tillich’s theology in conversation with theories of radical embodiment. The essays gathered here use discourses on the particularity and mutability of the body to offer a critical vantage point for constructive engagement with Tillich’s central theological category: ultimate concern. Each essay explores how individuals can be special bearers of ultimate concern by engaging the body’s role in faith, religion, and culture. As Mary Ann Stenger, professor emerita from University of Louisville, observes in her introduction: “From concerns about bodily integrity to considering bodies on the margins of society to discussions of technologically modified bodies, these articles offer us fresh theological insights and call us to ethical thinking and actions in relation to our bodies and the bodies around us. And certainly, today, the body and a person’s right to bodily integrity have become central, critical issues in our culture.” Contributors include: David H. Nikkel, Kayko Driedger Hesslein, Beth Ritter-Conn, Tyler Atkinson, Courtney Wilder, Adam Pryor, and Devan Stahl.
Dr. Stahl is President Elect of the North American Paul Tillich Society.
Center Assistant Professor Dr. Devan Stahl has a new book available from Cascade Books, Imaging and Imagining Illness: Becoming Whole in a Broken Body. Edited by Dr. Stahl with a foreword from Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, the collection of essays draws from the disciplines of medical humanities, literature, visual culture, philosophy, and theology.
From Dr. Stahl:
Imaging and Imagining Illness explores the effects of imaging technologies on patients’ body image and self-understanding as well as the ways they influence our cultural understandings of illness. The project began as a collaboration between my sister Darian Goldin Stahl and myself. After I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I shared my stories of living with MS as well as my MRIs with Darian. As a print artist, Darian began using my scans in her artwork as a way to give a more complete picture of what it is like to live with illness. Darian’s art had a profound effect on how I saw myself and inspired me to open our collaboration to others. We invited four other scholars to build on our work from their unique disciplines and shed light on the meaning of illness and the impact medical imaging can have on our cultural imagination. Drs. Therese Jones and Kirsten Ostherr offer reflections from their disciplines of medical humanities and visual culture and media studies. Having read all of the previous chapters, Drs. Ellen T. Armour and Jeff P. Bishop build on previous insights and add reflections from theology and philosophy. By engaging illness through multiple disciplines, the book represents the many ways we can understand and represent illness.
Center for Ethics Professor Emerita Judith Andre, PhD, has written a new book, Worldly Virtue: Moral Ideals and Contemporary Life, published by Lexington Books in March 2015.
Worldly Virtue argues that general discussions of virtue need to be complemented by attention to specific virtues. Each chapter addresses a single virtue, most of them traditional (e.g., honesty, generosity, and humility), and sometimes newly framed (“earthly virtue,” for instance, and “open hope.”) The final essay breaks ground by identifying virtues specific to the fact that we age. The book draws upon various spiritual traditions, especially Christianity and Buddhism, for what they value and the practices that sustain those values; at times it identifies ways in which each can mislead. The book also draws from contemporary sciences, natural but especially behavioral. Anthropologists and sociologists, for instance, have identified a universal norm of reciprocity; virtuous generosity must respect this need to give back. In another example, new understandings of addiction suggest that temperance requires dealing with pain as much as resisting pleasure. Because no single template applies to every virtue, different questions are asked about each. Nevertheless each chapter addresses the often-neglected question of how the virtue in question is acquired, and how social context can support or impede its acquisition. The book is addressed to philosophers, but may also be of interest in religious studies, for its philosophical development of religious themes. – Source
The book Fair Resource Allocation and Rationing at the Bedside, edited by Marion Danis, Samia A. Hurst, Len Fleck, Reidun Forde, and Anne Slowther, was published in October 2014 by Oxford University Press.
“This book offers a unique combination of normative analyses of the moral grounds for resource allocation and rationing at the bedside, empirical evidence about the prevalence of rationing by physicians, and concrete suggestions about how clinicians and health care systems can work together to make resource allocation and rationing as fair as possible. This book presents an international comparison of attitudes towards and reported bedside rationing by physicians. It illustrates and justifies why the relevant question regarding bedside rationing is not whether it ought to be practiced, but how it can be practiced in a manner which respects everyone.” – Oxford University Press
Publisher’s description: “Tom Tomlinson systematically uncovers and evaluates both the strengths and limits of a variety of ethical tools, and in so doing develops a comprehensive appreciation of the roles that various methods can play in deepening our understanding of ethical problems in medicine, and in supporting well-grounded judgments about what to do. He critically evaluates each method to identify both limits and advantages, which he then illustrates through discussion of specific cases and controversies. Tomlinson not only demonstrates that there is no single method adequate to the task, but tries to develop an informed eclecticism that knows how to pick the right tool for the right job. All those engaged in thinking about bioethical theories will find Tomlinson’s work important reading.”
See more of Tomlinson’s research and interests on his page at bioethics.msu.edu.