Knowing There Is No God, Still We Should Not Play God? Habermas on the Future of Human Nature


  • Robert Song University of Durham



Habermas, genetic engineering, liberal eugenics, human nature, Creation


Jürgen Habermas’s recent critique of human genetic enhancements reaches similar conclusions to many Christian theological analyses of genetic technologies. However, his use of categories drawn from his general theory of communicative action fails to justify central distinctions such as those between the natural and the artificial, and between environmental and genetic enhancements. In fact he holds much in common with the more libertarian approach of ‘liberal eugenics’ which he rightly rejects: this is traced to the deficient account of nature and the body which they both share. By contrast Christian theology, by drawing out the significance of the goodness of creation, offers an alternative narration of the distinctions which places them in the context of a theology of the body of Christ.

Author Biography

  • Robert Song, University of Durham
    Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham, Abbey House, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RS


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How to Cite

Song, R. (2006). Knowing There Is No God, Still We Should Not Play God? Habermas on the Future of Human Nature. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 11(2), 191-211.