Faithlife Corporation

Business Hours

Monday – Saturday
6 AM – 6 PM PST
Local: 12:46 PM
Flourishing: Health, Disease, and Bioethics in Theological Perspective
See inside
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

Flourishing: Health, Disease, and Bioethics in Theological Perspective


Eerdmans 2013

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


We use such words as “health,” “disease,” and “illness” all the time without stopping to consider exactly what we understand by them. Yet their meanings are far from straightforward, and disagreements over them have important practical consequences in health care and bioethics. In this book, Neil Messer develops a distinctive and innovative theological account of these concepts. He engages in earnest with debates in the philosophy of medicine and disability studies and draws on a wide array of theological resources including Barth, Bonhoeffer, Aquinas, and recent disability theologies. By enabling us to understand health in the wider perspective of the flourishing and ultimate destiny of human beings, Messer’s Flourishing sheds new light on a range of practical bioethical issues and dilemmas.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Get more resources for theological studies with the Eerdmans Theological Studies Collection

Key Features

  • Develops an innovative theological account of healthcare concepts
  • Sheds new light on a range of practical bioethical issues and dilemmas
  • Enables readers to understand health in a wider perspective


  • Philosophical Accounts of Health, Disease, and Illness
  • Disability Perspectives: Critical Insights and Questions
  • Theological Resources for Understanding Health and Disease
  • Theological Theses concerning Health, Disease, and Illness

Praise for the Print Edition

In this lively and informative book Neil Messer demonstrates his intellectual alacrity by engaging in a careful and thoughtful way with some of the most pressing issues facing those in the health caring professions. . . . His achievement is to produce a critical framework for thinking through difficult and highly charged bioethical problems and illustrating this by close attention to particular examples, drawn from particular medical cases and disability studies. . . . Flourishing deserves to be widely read, not just by specialists in theological bioethics, but also by health practitioners and other health professionals.

Celia Deane-Drummond, professor of theology, University of Notre Dame

Perplexity over the nature of health, disease, and illness lies behind many of the most intractable debates in contemporary medicine. In this attractive and consistently well-judged exploration of the nature of human flourishing, Neil Messer draws from Barth and Aquinas to give a decisively theological account which nevertheless richly integrates a range of philosophical and scientific insights. It is an impressive work, and will be an invaluable reference-point for future work in theological bioethics.

—Robert Song, professor, Durham University

Neil Messer’s Flourishing offers an informed, balanced, and thoughtful theological approach to health, disease, and disability. It offers a fair-minded and nuanced analysis that will interest experts in health care ethics. His constructive proposal is based on a carefully worked out version of teleological ‘Barthian Thomism’ that combines speculative creativity with practical compassion.

Stephen J. Pope, professor, Boston College

Product Details

About Neil Messer

Neil Messer is professor of theology at the University of Winchester, UK, and a minister of the United Reformed Church. His previous books include Respecting Life: Theology and Bioethics and Selfish Genes and Christian Ethics.