In The Sacredness of Human Life, David Gushee traces the concept of the sanctity of human life from Scripture through church history to the present day, arguing that viewing human life as sacred is one of the most precious legacies of biblical faith. Besides providing a masterful historical survey, Gushee’s discussion covers the many current ethical challenges and perspectives that impact the flourishing of human life, including biotechnology, the death penalty, abortion, human rights, nuclear weapons, just war theory, women’s rights, and creation care.
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David Gushee is one of the preeminent Christian ethicists in the country, and his work is important for both those in the academic world and all of us trying to live out obedient and biblical lives. In The Sacredness of Human Life he rescues this most spiritual of concepts from the narrow realm of political rhetoric, which it has come to inhabit in recent years. This book should be read by anyone who desires to reclaim a broader definition of how ‘the sacredness of life’ should truly be understood.
—Jim Wallis, editor-in-chief, Sojourners
No one, to my knowledge, has come up with a deeper or more sustained account of what it means to say that human life is sacred than David Gushee in this magisterial work.
—Jeremy Waldron, professor of law, New York University School of Law
This is the most significant book I have ever seen about what it really means to say that human life is sacred. It combines conservative loyalty to preserving the sacredness of human life with liberal loyalty to caring for the basic needs of life. . . . Gushee’s work can bring the healing we need in our time of dangerous polarization.
—Glen Stassen, Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics and the Executive Director of the Just Peacemaking Initiative, Fuller Theological Seminary
In the face of today’s heated debates over ethical issues, Gushee does a fine job of laying out so-called progressive, conservative, and other Christian perspectives. This book is a valuable resource for all those who want to understand and thoughtfully engage perspectives other than their own.
—John F. Kilner, Franklin Forman Chair of Ethics, Trinity International University
David P. Gushee is distinguished university professor of Christian ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the author of The Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Kingdom Ethics, and The Future of Faith in American Politics.