Rev. Dr John Berry

Rev. Dr John Berry

BA (Dunelm) PhD

Fr Berry has lectured for over fifteen years on bioethics for the BA in Divinity and for the last nine years for the BA in Applied Theology at Maryvale Institute for Theology, Philosophy, Catechesis and Religious Education in Birmingham. He has written a course book on biomedical ethics and a commentary for study groups on Evangelium Vitae as well having prepared other course material and bibliographical resources. He is currently writing a course book on biotechnology and the family for the Licence in Marriage and the Family under the auspices of the John Paul II Institute in Rome. He has also written a course book on Catholic Spirituality, and is a lecturer and tutor in mystical theology for the Maryvale BA, MA and Applied Theology degrees, and also a research supervisor.

As a part time associate research fellow at the Linacre Centre he was a member from 1993 to 1996 of the Working Party on Genetic Intervention on Human Subjects for the Catholic Bishops’ Joint Committee in Bioethical Issues. He was a member of an inter-disciplinary international group exploring ‘Missiology of Western Culture: health, healing and coping with disease’, participating in seminars at Harvard and New York in 1994 and 1995, with the aim of creating a critically annotated bibliographical resource. He contributed to a project of the Christendom Trust on ethics, theology and genetics in 1999. He has lectured on ‘Eugenics, ethics and population control’ in Geneva, Bratislava, Budapest and Esztergom; on ‘Bioethics in Britain: sanctity of life or quality of life?’ at the Bioethics Institute in Palermo, Sicily in 1995, and spoken to medical, nursing, student, clergy and lay groups in the UK, Canada, and Ireland on contraception, abortion, euthanasia, mental capacity, eugenics and genetics, stem cell research, population ethics, conscience and the ethos and ethic of the doctor, care of dependent elderly persons, and on the interface of culture and bioethics, and published several articles on medical ethics in the Catholic Medical Quarterly and Priests and People.

In the last ten years he has spent much of his time caring for his elderly mother whilst continuing teaching and tutoring at Maryvale and engaging in personal research on moral and spiritual aspects of caring for the dependent elderly. An entry on eugenics and an entry on biotechnology are forthcoming in Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy, Volume 3, co-edited by Professor Richard Myers of Ave Maria Law School. Also forthcoming is a paper on ‘Contraception, moral virtue and technology’ among the Linacre Centre Conference Papers for 2010, Fertility, Infertility and Gender, edited by Dr Helen Watt. His current research interests include:

  • The ethical and spiritual requirements of caring for dependent elderly persons;
  • Medical and spiritual perspectives on ‘dying well’;
  • The theological and anthropological foundations of Christian spirituality and bioethics;
  • Ethics and the pharmaceutical industry;
  • Penance, place and pilgrimage in Christian spirituality;
  • Mysticism and ethics from the perspective of theological modernism.

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The Anscombe Bioethics Centre is supported by the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, but has also always relied on donations from generous individuals, friends and benefactors.