Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Sacred Choices: The Right to Contraception nd Abortion in Ten World Religions (Sacred Energies Series)
Your Garage Editors' Picks Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Happy Belly Snacks Totes Summer-Event-Garden Amazon Cash Back Offer PilotWave7B PilotWave7B PilotWave7B  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis DollyParton Shop Now

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
15
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on February 18, 2002
Controversial issues in religion are not new, but creative, inclusive, honest ways of dealing with them are. Catholic ethicist Daniel C. Maguire, President of the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics, convened an international, interreligious team of scholars to look at birth control and abortion from a variety of faith-based starting points.
They concluded that in every case, even the most recalcitrant, there is evidence of competing views within each tradition. This volume is a highly readable summary of the findings. It is suitable for college classes, congregational study group and public policy discussions. Do your religious professional a favor and give this book as a gift.
The backdrop for this discussion is the complicated web of population and development issues that has been fanned by religious fervor. Policy makers who leave aside religious views do so at their peril. Worse, when they accept as true the word of those who purport to speak for a faith tradition without examining the practice and beliefs of the majority of its adherents, they miss a great deal and do a grave disservice.
Catholicism is a good example. While it would seem to be the airtight case against both contraceptives and birth control based on the Vatican's pronouncements, Dr. Maguire et al find that the tradition is far more nuanced. Theologians like Professor Christine Gudorf give good Catholic reasons to limit births. They see the teaching in a state of development not fixed, as the Vatican would have it. They take women's well being as a central ethical need, thus approve of abortion as a woman's right to choose.
Islam would seem to be another case where it would be hard to find women-friendly ethics. But Muslim Professor Riffat Hassan offers a feminist challenge to her faith. Indeed many Muslims consider first trimester abortion to be licit; many forms of birth control have long been a part of Islamic culture. Who knew? As these views come to the fore it will be harder and harder to pin anti-choice positions on religions.
Likewise, Chinese religions see these matters in quite open terms. The move toward universal harmony requires some limits on population. This worldview is very practical in claiming the need to put the common good before the desires of individuals. This is admittedly a position many in the West find problematic, but one that has its deep roots in an ancient and venerable culture.
There is no suggestion in this volume that one will agree with all of the positions expressed, nor even find them morally tolerable. Sex selection abortion, for example, is one difficult issue. But what Dr. Maguire, with his scholarly guides, does so brilliantly is make the data accessible, lift the shroud of stereotype, and let the reader decide for her/himself. This methodological point, as opposed to rigid positions as all there is, distinguishes this marvelous volume as one that will launch discussions in a useful direction.
0Comment| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 29, 2001
Who first told us "there are two sides to every story?" Maybe our mother, maybe life itself hammering into our heads that truth is never simple.
In recent years the conservative Right, condemning contraception and abortion, has dominated that ethical debate. Their appeal to ancient scriptures and traditions has largely carried the day.
Now comes theologian Daniel C. Maguire to tell us there is another side to the story. "Sacred Choices: the Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religion," sets forth that other side. Maguire explores what ten great world religions have long held about sexual matters involving life and death. This small paperback packs a lot of wisdom into its 160 pages. It is beautifully written, with personal insights and moving anecdotes. (He even shares with us the story of his young son's death from a rare disease.) Nor is this professor of ethics at Marquette University afraid to take on the Vatican or other powerful religious bureaucracies to get at the root of religious belief. In a beautiful aside, he refers to Gandhi as the most Christ-like person ever to have lived, a remarkable statement about a Hindu. Maguire draws on experts in each of the great religions to bolster his arguments. There is something here for Catholics, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Jainists, Muslims, Chinese Religionists, Protestants, and Native Americans.
As the world struggles with issues of over-population, hunger, poverty and HIV/AIDS, "Sacred Choices" is a call to wake up from the dream of that "old time religion" and to appreciate our even older religious traditions. This book comes at a teachable moment, a time of grace.
As a former director of UNICEF, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and other non-profit organizations, I am concerned with the health and ethical choices we face. Therefore it is a pleasure to recommend "Sacred Choices" to intelligent and open-minded readers.
0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 13, 2003
While Daniel Maguire is one of the few mirthful scholars of religious thought, his writings have serious import in a world too often darkened by religious crime. Maguire and his sources demonstrate quite vividly that while most of the world's religions have often been involved in horrific and destructive actions, that there was and is a serious and awe inspiring underpining to their formation and purpose. My personal opinion is that there was probably much more fear and trembling than awe and reverence at their core beginnings, but Maquire is more generous in his accessment. Maguire takes us through more than ten of the world's great religious traditions with the help of scholars well versed in their own religious traditions, to demonstrate conclusively that although there is much in religious tradtions to comfort Pro-Life adherents, that there is a line of equally orthodox thought in every religious tradition to support the Pro-Choice view, and that government support of one of these religious views over the other is in conflict with the American ideal of resisting governmental intervention into religious matters. Maguire has an obvious bias toward the Pro-Choice religious position, but he is generous in granting legitimacy to the Pro-Life position as well. However, he unabashedly points out the inconsistancies in the lobbying and advocacy efforts by current avowedly Pro-Life activist's positions on multiple fronts in public policy debates. This is an important book for anyone who takes religious matters seriously. And whether or not one is religious or irreligious, I think that none can deny that religion plays a very big part in both national and international policy debates, and therefor, it behooves us all to take seriously matters of religious thought. Maguire shows us in his first few pages exactly why it is so necessary that we do so. An excellent and thoughtful read and a book which belongs on any thinking person's book shelves. wfh
0Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 15, 2002
... Dan McGuire, drawing on a lifetime of study and research, in conjunction with scholars from other religions, finds that Christianity and other faith traditions have many strands of thought expressed over the centuries. The common thread is a passion for the givenness of our human life, and the sacred dimension of making critical decisions affecting reproduction. McGuire and the other writers survey the less well-known attitudes in the historic faiths and suggest that that univocal opposition to planned pregnancy is in sore need of review. He offers cogent, yet powerful reasons for doing more research. The book will be welcomed by all who want more open discussion, including Catholics for Free Choice who want freer dialogue in their religious communities about options for men and women regarding their fertility. ...
0Comment| 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 29, 2001
Who first told us "there are two sides to every story?" Maybe our mother, maybe life itself hammering into our heads that truth is never simple.
In recent years the conservative Right, condemning contraception and abortion, has dominated that ethical debate. Their appeal to ancient scriptures and traditions has largely carried the day.
Now comes theologian Daniel C. Maguire to tell us there is another side to the story. "Sacred Choices: the Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religion," sets forth that other side. Maguire explores what ten great world religions have long held about sexual matters involving life and death. This small paperback packs a lot of wisdom into its 160 pages. It is beautifully written, with personal insights and moving anecdotes. (He even shares with us the story of his young son's death from a rare disease.) Nor is this professor of ethics at Marquette University afraid to take on the Vatican or other powerful religious bureaucracies to get at the root of religious belief. In a beautiful aside, he refers to Gandhi as the most Christ-like person ever to have lived, a remarkable statement about a Hindu. Maguire draws on experts in each of the great religions to bolster his arguments. There is something here for Catholics, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Jainists, Muslims, Chinese Religionists, Protestants, and Native Americans.
As the world struggles with issues of over-population, hunger, poverty and HIV/AIDS, "Sacred Choices" is a call to wake up from the dream of that "old time religion" and to appreciate our even older religious traditions. This book comes at a teachable moment, a time of grace.
As a former director of UNICEF, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and other non-profit organizations, I am concerned with the health and ethical choices we face. Therefore it is a pleasure to recommend "Sacred Choices" to intelligent and open-minded readers.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 17, 2013
Even the shepherds in biblical times knew that their flocks could be no larger than the existing resources. Sacred Choices is about how human populations, historically, have found religious support for limiting their numbers, sometimes even through the acceptance of abortion.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 31, 2002
This book provides much needed information and is a great contribution in refuting the falsehoods spread by the so-called "Christian" Right. It is a good companion to a wonderful new book titled Real Prophecy Unveiled, by Joseph J. Adamson. Thank God for books like these, because they shed light in a world made dark by "religious" bigotry, hypocrisy, and aggression. They give me faith that the humble and meek shall inherit the earth after all.
0Comment| 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 14, 2001
This book is insightful reading. It will help many women who are in doubt about their moral choices on this important subject and will help them clarify the teaching of their own religion.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 21, 2010
White Coat Wisdom: Extraordinary doctors talk about what they do, how they got there and why medicine is so much more than a job

Theologian Dan Maguire is such a fine writer. His thoughts are so well expressed, and his credentials so impressive, it makes one wonder why the Catholic Church can't seem to modernize and better understand its own history. This book does an excellent job of discussing birth control and abortion from the perspectives of various religious traditions.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 13, 2015
Highlights the acceptance of contraception and abortion across 10 world religions...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Need customer service? Click here