The Query of Life Itself

This previous 12 months, I’ve reported steadily on the subject of abortion when it intersects with my beat because the nationwide faith correspondent for The Occasions. Within the months because the Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe v. Wade, one query has come up again and again: When does life start?

This query is concurrently elemental and complex. It has additionally turn out to be so politicized that considerate engagement is tough. Even the query itself may be confusingly broad. In organic phrases, when is an organism an organism? Or philosophically, what makes a human an individual? And spiritually, when does a human being have a soul?

People have wrestled with the query of when life begins throughout time and cultures. For the previous few months, I’ve spoken with scientists, philosophers and religious leaders to discover the query and to learn the way folks give it some thought. The ensuing story printed on-line right here.

One mom I interviewed informed me that the query of life and when it begins appears a lot larger than the fights we hear about in politics — and he or she is true. This query additionally pushes previous the bounds of regulation and science and will get to the center of human expertise.

When journalists report on a chunk of laws or examine a particular occasion, there are some solutions which can be clear and capable of be discovered. Exploring a query itself isn’t fairly like that. My reporting doesn’t reply this one. As a substitute, my hope is that by writing in regards to the quest for a solution, I give you some area and concepts to replicate by yourself views and possibly even begin a dialog with family and friends a couple of matter that may really feel taboo.

Final 12 months presently, I explored how folks make sense of time. The 12 months earlier than, as Covid deaths rose, I wrote about how we survive winter. I’ve reported about the worth of life in America, the cycles of apocalypse within the human story and what it means to be personally and culturally remodeled.

These are all questions of spirit. And they’re questions that people throughout divides share.

Learn Elizabeth’s newest story on a query that “goes far past politics, regulation and science into the center of human expertise.”

Welcome to a brand new 12 months of tradition. Among the many releases that Occasions critics are most trying ahead to:

Margaret Lyons can’t anticipate “Succession” Season 4: “Oh, I can hear the jangly piano theme now, and simply realizing that the bereft and damaged Roys, their gorgeously merciless dialogue and countless, joyless quests for energy might be again on my display quickly fills me with elation.”

Mike Hale is eagerly awaiting two crime dramas that take totally different approaches to a venerable format, the thriller of the week: Fox’s “Accused” and Peacock’s “Poker Face.” Each premiere this month.

Zachary Woolfe recommends a manufacturing of Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” which has been absent for some time from the 25 or 30 titles on the middle of the Metropolitan Opera’s historical past. “It’ll be a significant occasion when, on Feb. 26, the opera lastly returns to New York in a brand new staging.”