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That All May FlourishComparative Religious Environmental Ethics$
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Laura Hartman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190456023.001.0001

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Intertextually Modified Organisms

Intertextually Modified Organisms

Genetic Engineering, Jewish Ethics, and Rabbinic Text

Chapter:
(p.178) (p.179) 10 Intertextually Modified Organisms
Source:
That All May Flourish
Author(s):

Rebecca J. Epstein-Levi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190456023.003.0011

The chapter examines genetic engineering through analogy with the Torah: if Judaism permits rabbis, in some very specific circumstances, to alter the text of the sacred Torah, might it not also permit alteration of the “sacred text” of a plant’s genome? The chapter carefully plots these specific circumstances and their plant-based analogues to argue, with a comparison of genetic and scriptural languages, for respectful “dialogical engagement” to promote human and nonhuman flourishing. While not offering a clear answer to a challenging issue, the purpose is to establish the beginning of a religiously and textually attentive ethical framework with which to evaluate genetic technology.

Keywords:   Judaism and ecology, environmental ethics, genetic engineering, genetically modified organisms, Torah, Rebecca J. Epstein-Levi

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