Bioethical issues are rarely out of view in Western societies. New developments in areas such as human embryology continually raise new ethical questions, while more familiar issues frequently reappear in public debate. These are issues of central concern for Christians and for a wider public, because they raise questions about the value of life, the meaning of suffering and death and humanity's place in the natural world. Neil Messer is Reader in Theology and Head of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Winchester. He has a research background in molecular biology, and is a minister of the United Reformed Church.