Toward a Philosophical Theology of Pregnancy Loss

In Mikolaj Slawkowski-Rode (ed.), The Meaning of Mourning: Perspectives on Death, Loss, and Grief. Lexington Books (2022)
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Issues surrounding pregnancy loss are rarely addressed in Christian philosophy. Yet a modest estimate based on the empirical and medical literature places the rate of pregnancy loss between fertilization and term at somewhere between 40–60%. If miscarriage really is as common as the research gives us to believe, then it would seem a pressing topic for a Christian philosophy of the future to address. This paper attempts to begin this work by showing how thinking more closely about pregnancy loss understood as a grievable event can have a profound impact on the way we think about particular theoretical debates in Christian philosophy and provide opportunities for the discipline to put its skills to use in the development of helpful conceptual and hermeneutical resources for those grieving such losses. However, this will require seeking out and taking seriously the testimony of those who have undergone pregnancy loss, as well as getting clearer on how best to conceptualize pregnancy and its loss in the first place.

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Amber L. Griffioen
Duke Kunshan University


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