Faith & Life Sciences

Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group (FLSRG)


Current Program Priorities (2018-21)

Synthetic Biology involves issues of gene drives, military and health care applications, and ecological impacts.

The use of synthetic biology raises moral, medical, legal, and social concerns about its applications in different fields. Most of us are learning a lot as we follow this issue. There are questions about who controls and benefits from these technologies that we think needs to be addressed.

The Church is part of society – not separate from it – and we need to be aware of the events that affect society and the Earth, God’s creation. Knowledge is a gift, so we have a responsibility to understand it as best we can. The Church can bring wisdom to the discussion on the impact that synthetic biology has on society and creation.

AI refers to technologies with the ability to perform tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, language translation, and the capacity to learn or adapt to new experiences or stimuli, etc. These new technologies are affecting human-to-human exchange, and have ethical, anthropological, and social justice impacts. We are concerned with how these technologies affect the human person, in the following domains: moral bioenhancement, affective, cognitive, physical, and spiritual enhancement, and big data and the manipulation of opinion.

Recommended Resources from the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group

Cover of the FLSRG resource Technology and the Image of God

Technology and the Image of God

This short collection of essays from representatives of several denominations is scholarly, accessible, and promises to inspire important and constructive debate and engagement with emerging technologies, biotechnologies and faith.


When Christian Faith and Genetics Meet: A Practical Group Resource

Does genetics contribute to or contradict our belief that we are created in the image of God? What ethical questions arise from using genetics in reproductive technologies? Is genetic testing for those planning to have children a responsible thing to do? These questions and more are explored in “When Christian Faith and Genetics Meet,” a curriculum with tools for Christian communities to critically assess the opportunities and risks of biotechnology.


About the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group

Who can keep up with the dizzying pace of the revolutions in science and genetics? Who even knows what genetic technologies are now in development? What is life? Who owns life? Fortunately, the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group (FLSRG) isn’t overwhelmed, but  instead revels in the possibility of sharing ethical reflections on these developments and discerning principles for how best to respond.

Members of the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group

  • Dr. Mark Boulos, The Coptic Orthodox Church of Canada, Toronto, ON
  • Lt-Colonel Jim Champ, The Salvation Army, North York, ON
  • William Crosby, Anglican Church of Canada, Saskatoon, SK
  • Rejo Zachariah George, The Mar Thoma Church, Richmond Hill, ON
  • Dr. Emanuel Kolyvas, Orthodox Church in America, Montreal, QC
  • Dr. Rachel Krause, Mennonite Church Canada, Winnipeg, MB
  • Rev. Dr. Peter Kuhnert, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Waterloo, ON
  • Rev. Joan Masterton, Presbyterian Church in Canada, Stouffville, ON
  • Dr. Moira McQueen, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Toronto, ON
  • Dr. Helen M Rosemary Meier, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Toronto, ON
  • Dr. Mary Susan Thomson, The Mar Thoma Church, Toronto, ON
  • Rev. Dr. Tracy Trothen, The United Church of Canada, Kingston, ON
Last updated: March 2022

Members are appointed by member churches of The Canadian Council of Churches. Additional members may join because of their interest and expertise in the topic. All members seek to develop a close working relationship with their church.

Organizations related to the CCC such as the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, for example, may also be asked to collaborate with the group on different projects of mutual interest through ex officio representation at group meetings.

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