Biobible: Biblical Provocations to Biocapital in the U.S. Culture Wars

Erin Runions


This paper considers how a newly emergent biobible radically invests bodily functions, bodily matter, and bodies in and as capital. In conservative Christian family-values commentary on marriage, sexuality, and reproduction, reference to biology is on the rise. Biblical arguments for heterosexual marriage and sanctity of life are supported by biological language and imaging. These discourses reflect, respond to, and contribute to what scholars have called biocapital, that is, the increased commodification of biological materials and technologies. Biology is biblically elevated and given increased value, feeding biocapital.  Indeed emphasis on biology has come to edge out or make subordinate more traditional religious language of interiority, spirituality and emotional life, making them unimportant, or provisionally important, displaced onto the future wellbeing of biological children raised in heterosexual, white families.These developments are traced in conservative Christian discussions of same-sex marriage, assisted reproductive technology, abortions, and prison ministry.


biobible; biocapital; biological family; children; marriage debates; abortion; prison

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391