New Reachable Horizons in the Fritz Jahr's Bioethical Imperative

  • Jayapaul Azariah Azariah
Keywords: Rev. Fritz Jahr, ‘bioethics’ 1926, ‘biotechnology’ 1917, scientism, eroticism, Steinach’s gonad transplant, Liberal Theology, F.D.E. Schleiermacher, Jean Harlow, sex revolution, moral crisis, sex ethics, syphilis, millennials


The present paper traces the scientific and Christian theological climate that led to the coining of the new word “ bioethics ” by the German Christian pastor Rev. Fritz Jahr in 1926. Miller and Professor Hans-Martin Sass’s English translation of Rev. Jahr’s works were used. There are a total of 22 Rev. Jahr’s thought-provoking original articles which were grouped into four major categories: (i) Ethics and Bioethics (ii) Radical Christian Theology and Bioethical Imperatives (iii) Sexual Ethics and (iv) Philosophy of Life and Death.
Coining of the word “biotechnology” in 1917 precedes the word bioethics by ten years. The paper details significant advancement in science as well as the rise of moral issues. Significantly, within a short span of 10 years the influence of the power of science was such that the moral-width of Rev. Jahr’s society began to shrink to that extent that it disturbed him to coin a new word “Bioethics” to counter-balance the fast moral degradation. Rev. Jahr identified three contributing factors for moral defacement. Steinach’s gonad transplant experiments and Theologian F.D.E. Schleiermacher’s radical views of Christianity may have caused the moral crisis in his society resulting in the prevalence of syphilis. Jahr’s threefold bioethical imperative model of – Life, value and education – has been considered. A new educational policy of Life Oriented Value Education (love) has been suggested so as to revive social and moral values