Can we genetically engineer virtue and deification?

Gayle E. Woloschak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In this article we ask: could we speed up the attainment of religious goals such as virtuous living or even deification through genetic engineering? After reviewing current scientific knowledge gained from genetic engineering, it is difficult to answer affirmatively. Because virtuous living is complex and difficult to define, it makes searching for relevant genes difficult. To date, such genes do not appear in the geneticist’s inventory. An additional unknown is the role of free will. Even more important, theologically, is the role of God in leading to our sanctification. This present negative conclusion, however, does not preclude possible future advances in the science of virtue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalTheology and Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Deification
  • Genetic engineering
  • Genetics
  • Nature vs. Nurture
  • Virtue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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