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Experiments in DemocracyHuman Embryo Research and the Politics of Bioethics$
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J. Benjamin Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231179546

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231179546.001.0001

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Religion, Reason, and the Politics of Progress

Religion, Reason, and the Politics of Progress

(p.233) 7 Religion, Reason, and the Politics of Progress
Experiments in Democracy

J. Benjamin Hurlbut

Columbia University Press

Chapter 7 examines the politics surrounding California’s stem cell ballot initiative. The chapter explores how the promise of cures derived from human embryonic stem cell research elicited accounts of citizenship and the public good that treated biomedical innovation as an unequivocal public good. The chapter examines how actors used this idea of innovation to construct science and public reason as allied, secular institutions, and critics of the initiative as injecting unwarranted, private religious perspectives into processes of democratic judgment.

Keywords:   Biomedical innovation, religion and public reason, California Stem Cell Research and Cures initiative, abortion politics, science and religion

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