Dilemmas of Life and Death

Hindu Ethics in a North American Context

By S. Cromwell Crawford

Subjects: Religion
Paperback : 9780791421666, 233 pages, December 1994
Hardcover : 9780791421659, 233 pages, December 1994

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Table of contents



1. The Ethics of Abortion

2. The Ethics of Suicide

3. The Ethics of Euthanasia

4. The Ethics of the Environment






This is a breakthrough work expanding the debate of the dilemmas of life and death in contemporary American society by carrying it beyond the insights of Western religious and philosophic thought to include ethical perspectives of the Hindu tradition.

The topics covered are the timely ethical issues that concern both Americans and all people of the world — abortion, suicide, euthanasia, and the environment. A lively East-West dialogue probes the roots of each issue in its native setting, and the fruit of this historical approach is a clear-cut analysis of up-to-date cases, giving their current status in terms of ethics, religion, philosophy, medicine, and law. Unlike traditional textbooks that concentrate on a theoretical analysis to the exclusion of practical issues, this book does justice to both theoretical and practical ethics.

At the University of Hawaii, S. Cromwell Crawford is Professor of Comparative Religions and Director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies.


"In the modern Western world, heavily influenced by the achievements of science and technology, questions regarding the value of life and the individual's freedom to end it have come to occupy the center stage in recent years. Cromwell Crawford, a theologian by training and an Indian philosopher by choice, especially on Indian ethics, has devoted this volume to an examination of these issues as they appear in the American context from the standpoint of traditional Indian ethical theory. Such an approach to modern problems in ethics has not been attempted so far. The book is a valuable contribution to the on-going East-West dialogue. It is a carefully thought out work and written in a clear and lucid style." — David J. Kalupahana