Faith & Life Sciences

Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group (FLSRG)


Current Program Priorities (2021-24)

Gene editing and bio-enhancement is becoming a reality. These technologies intersect with a number of social, ethical, and theological issues, including the human quest for healing and improvement, concerns about transhumanism and radical biomodification, anthropological and spiritual questions about who we are as God-created human beings, effects on the environment and on agriculture, challenges to traditional cultures, and decisions about how we choose to shape our world post COVID pandemic. We believe regulation of these new technologies needs to involve collaboration with faith representatives, ethicists, philosophers, and indigenous representatives as well as bio-technologists, doctors and scientists.

Artificial intelligence and related technologies are being adopted at an increasing rate: every day we hear stories about art generators, automated decision-making, chatbots, companion robots, facial recognition programs, social media algorithms, and text generators. Some AI is clearly helpful: AI-driven experiments have suggested uses in medical imaging, for example. At the same time, more and more ethical questions are being raised about limitations, about human capacity being outstripped by machines, about changes in education, the effects on spirituality as questions of consciousness develop, and so on. In particular, we are concerned about studies that show AI amplifies and entrenches sexism, racism, and other biases in “black-box” algorithms that cannot be easily criticized or corrected.

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.


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About the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group

Who can keep up with the dizzying pace of developments in life sciences and biotechnology? The Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group (FLSRG) revels in sharing ethical reflections on these developments and discerning principles for how best to respond. To sign up for our quarterly newsletter, fill out the form below.

Members of the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group

  • Dr. Mark Boulos, The Coptic Orthodox Church of Canada, Toronto, ON
  • Rev. Dr. Catherine Chalin, The Presbyterian Church in Canada, Toronto, ON
  • Lt-Colonel Jim Champ, The Salvation Army, North York, ON
  • Rev. Dr. William Crosby, Anglican Church of Canada, Saskatoon, SK
  • Rejo Zachariah George, The Mar Thoma Church, Richmond Hill, ON
  • Dr. David Goodin, Orthodox Church in America, Montreal, QC
  • 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
  • Dr. Cory Andrew Labrecque, Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops, Québec City, QC
  • Rev. Chung Yan (JoAnne) Lam, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
  • 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
  • Dr. Lucas Vivas, Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops, Hamilton, ON
Last updated: July 2023

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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