chapter  21
9 Pages


ByJoanne Trautmann Banks

Narrative inevitably expresses and transforms who we are at every level of our being: the organic, the symbolic, the social, and the spiritual. This is an immodest claim, I know, but I am only making explicit what each of the other writers in this collection has assumed. I will try to show that stories in all their forms satisfy our deepest selves; that far from being an amusement or an aesthetic patina on our daily lives, narrative is fundamental to our bodies, minds, communities, and souls. It follows that bringing a full understanding of narrative to our work as ethicists changes all our thoughts, all our actions. The narrative urge is central, although occasionally perilous, even in that complicated form of self and other enacted in bioethics practice.