18 Pages

Reformed Perspectives in Bioethics

ByRuth Groenhout

The Reformed tradition traces its legacy to the Protestant Reformation in 15th and 16th Century Europe. Having made this fairly straightforward claim, however, one finds that it immediately must be modified, suggesting to the alert reader, perhaps, that defining the Reformed tradition is no easy matter. Although Martin Luther’s historical status as the instigator of the Reformation might suggest that the Lutheran tradition is one of the members of the Reformed tradition, most Lutheran thinkers would define themselves as a separate tradition, and with good justification. Likewise it is difficult to know whether contemporary Anglican thought can or should be included in the Reformed tradition – there are clear historical connections, and yet historical separation as well. Finally, and complicating matters even more, many thinkers choose to write as representatives of Protestant thought. Clearly the Reformed tradition is one variety of Protestant thought, and its theological resources have been crucial to the development of contemporary Protestantism, but it is just as clearly true that much of contemporary Evangelical thought arises out of the Anabaptist tradition rather than the Reformed.