Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 40, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2020

Stephanie C. Edwards
Pages 93-108

Pharmaceutical Memory Modification and Christianity’s “Dangerous” Memory

Pharmaceutical memory modification is the use of a drug to dampen, or eliminate completely, memories of traumatic experience. While standard therapeutic treatments, even those including intense pharmaceuticals, can potentially offer individual biomedical healing, they are missing an essential perspective offered by Christian bioethics: re/incorporation of individuals and traumatic memories into communities that confront and reinterpret suffering. This paper is specifically grounded in Christian ethics, engaging womanist understandings of Incarnational, embodied personhood, and Johann Baptist Metz’s “dangerous memory.” It develops an ethical framework of Christian “enfleshed counter-memory” that responds to the specific challenge of pharmaceutical memory modification, and traumatic experience generally.