Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Jesus v. Abortion: They Know Not What They Do is available from:
Wipf and Stock link
It is written by Charles Bellinger, Assoc. Prof. of Theology and Ethics, Brite Divinity School/TCU You can reach me with comments about the book at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are three main positions that people adopt within the abortion debate: pro-life, muddled middle, and pro-choice. Jesus v. Abortion critiques the pro-choice and muddled middle positions, employing several unusual angles:
(1) The question "What would Jesus say about abortion if he were here today?" is given very substantial treatment.
(2) The abortion debate is usually conducted using moral and metaphysical arguments; this book adds in anthropological insights regarding the function of violence in human culture.
(3) Rights language is employed by both sides of the debate, to opposite ends; this book leads the reader to ask deep questions about the concept of "rights."
(4) The use of historical analogies in the abortion debate goes both directions, in the sense that both sides accuse the other of being similar to the defenders of slavery; this book contains what is probably the most sophisticated and sustained analysis of the meaning and legitimacy of such analogies.
(5) Many important thinkers are brought into this conversation, such as Soren Kierkegaard, Eric Voegelin, Julien Benda, Simone Weil, Kenneth Burke, Richard Weaver, Rene Girard, Philip Rieff, Giorgio Agamben, Chantal Delsol, Paul Kahn, and David Bentley Hart.
"Dr. Bellinger's powerful pro-life case delivers a wake-up call to both Church and nation. He brings a formidable philosophical, historical, and theological intelligence to the retrieval of a lost wisdom, compassion, and spiritual maturity. A culture that is officially pro-choice, yet actually imprisoned in nihilism, Gnosticism, and nominalism, is shown an alternative beyond its foundational violence and functional Godlessness. Jesus v. Abortion offers a liberating perspective to feminists, doctors, jurists, legislators, and liberal Christians--also to millions of women who are either marching, dawdling, or else being dragged towards abortion."
--Scott Cowdell, Research Professor in Public and Contextual Theology, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia; Canon Theologian, Canberra-Goulburn Anglican Diocese
"In clear, straightforward prose, Bellinger boldly proposes that Christians cast off their fear of referring to Jesus when discussing abortion. His wide-ranging historical and anthropological sources demonstrate how abortion conforms to the patterns of violence that Jesus revealed both by his words and by his death. Jesus v. Abortion should inject both honesty and anthropological acumen into the debate."
--Bernadette Waterman Ward, Associate Professor of English, University of Dallas
"Bellinger has written a book on abortion unlike any other. It is truly a revelation from beginning to end, starting with his observation that few thinkers on either side of the moral debate on this issue have permitted themselves to refer to what Jesus tells us on the subject. Intended for both pro-choice and pro-life thinkers alike, the text exhorts both sides to face the contradictions and weaknesses in their usual positions, while suggesting a new starting place for the discussion: a profound analysis of the anthropological roots of violence itself. Bellinger demonstrates that it is our reliance on often confused and blurry uses of 'rights language' that has short-circuited any investigation of this singular aspect of the human condition--and obscured the truth that lies at the heart of the debate. Using a surprising breadth of sources, both scholarly and personal, Bellinger provides the reader with fresh insights into what is certainly one of the most urgent issues of our age."
--Deborah Savage, Codirector, Siena Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture; Professor of Philosophy and Theology, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity