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In 21st century America, personhood is under daily assault, sometimes with dire consequences. Scientist, ethicist, and ordained minister Craig C. Malbon encourages the reader to consider such assaults on personhood endured by victims of abortion, ageism, Alzheimer's disease, drug addiction, mental and physical disabilities, gender, gender orientation, racism, sexual preference, identity politics, and our will-to-power over the "other." In exploring personhood status, Malbon poses difficult questions for us. Is personhood assigned as all-or-nothing, or is it a sliding scale based upon criteria arbitrarily aimed at our vulnerabilities? Does the voiceless embryo and fetus have advocates who can speak to the moral question of abortion? Is the personhood of an economically insecure pregnant woman degraded to the point where lack of access to early termination of pregnancy results in "coercive childbearing?" Does being a member of the LGBTQI+ community target one for assaults on personhood, to the extreme of being killed? In delving into the biology and psychology of assaults of "self" upon the "other," Malbon sees powerful linkages of everyday assaults on personhood to darker, profound "original sins" that are foundational to the rise of the American empire, i.e., assaults on the indigenous Native Americans and assaults derivative to the institution of slavery upon Africans, African Americans, and their descendants.
About the Author
Craig C. Malbon is ordained and authorized minister in the United Church of Christ. He holds the academic title of leading professor and ethicist.