Publication date: 30/06/2011


Biotechnology brings up differing perspectives on science, cosmology, and on life itself and the human role in Creation (or the world, depending on one’s theology). These are important discussions for members of a faith community, but do we need to seek unity concerning them?
One of Quakerism’s characteristics is an avoidance of creedal rigidity in favour of openness to inquiry and lived experience. The resulting diversity is a source of spiritual nourishment that most Friends cherish. This is especially the case for the large philosophical and theological questions that biotechnology raises. And while some Friends may feel that certain issues have such significant implications that these become the heart of the matter for them, the wellspring for practical concern needn’t be the same for everyone. There is still room for consensus about specific issues and action to address them.
Three basic questions emerge on this issue:
  • What spiritual groundings does biotechnology, in its many applications, touch on, and do Friends need to be in agreement about these matters?
  • How should Friends go about assessing biotechnology’s ethical and moral implications?
  • If moved to take action, what could Friends do about biotechnology’s direction and management?
This 2011 fact sheet has been prepared by the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) for Quaker Institute for the Future (QIF) has been developed to help Quakers and others in faith traditions to reflect and act on concerns about biotechnology.


Resource type: Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)