Theology, the Body, and Slowing Human Aging
- ISBN: 9781532698002
- Published By: Cascade Books
- Published: February 2021
The quest to live much longer has moved from legend to the laboratory. Recent breakthroughs in genetics and pharmacology have put humanity on the precipice of slowing down human aging to extend the healthy life span. The promise of longer, healthier life is enormously attractive, and poses several challenging questions for Christians. Who wouldn't want to live 120 years or more before dying quickly? How do we make sense of human aging in light of Jesus' invitation to daily take up our crosses with the promise of the resurrection to come? Is there anything wrong with manipulating our bodies technologically to live longer? If so, how long is too long? Should aging itself be treated as a disease? In Chasing Methuselah, Todd Daly examines the modern biomedical anti-aging project from a Christian perspective, drawing on the ancient wisdom of the Desert Fathers, who believed that the incarnation opened a way for human life to regain the longevity of Adam and the biblical patriarchs through prayer and fasting. Daly balances these insights with the christological anthropology of Karl Barth, discussing the implications for human finitude, fear of death, and the use of anti-aging technology, weaving a path between outright condemnation and uncritical enthusiasm.