The Soul, the Cell, and Fiction Since the Human Genome Project

Speaker(s): Everett Hamner
Date: Summer 2016
Length: 1h 17m
Product ID: RGDL4602AD

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In the next decade, personal genome testing and gene editing promise to transform medicine. Visits to the doctor may involve assessing one's genetic predisposition to specific diseases and likely responses to treatment options. Genetic modification of embryos and gene therapies for existing conditions are also advancing rapidly. However, popular literature, television, and film often seem less than optimistic about these possibilities. Sometimes, there are very good reasons; sometimes, they cultivate unnecessary fears. Beyond illustrating the bioethical debates, though, this lecture focuses on these stories' extensive reframing of biblical metaphors, from the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem, and especially their visions of the soul. How is contemporary myth-making about biotechnology and religion reshaping our understanding of their relationship? Come join us to gain a broader sense of fiction's theological and scientific reach and think more deeply about recent Canadian works like the TV series Orphan Black and Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam novels.

See All Audio by Everett Hamner

Dr. Everett Hamner is Associate Professor of English at Western Illinois University. His research focuses on science and technology, religion, and science fiction and the fantastic in literature and film. His writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Christianity and Literature, Literature and Theology, and Religion and Literature.

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