Honors, Awards, and New Positions


October 2016

Jason Danely was awarded a grant from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for a project on “Dynamics of Japan’s Ageing Prison Population” with Dr. Hafiz Kahn (PI, Birmingham City University), Pia Jolliffe (University of Oxford), and Yoshinobu Fujiwara (Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology). This funding will support one trip to Japan to meet with researchers, gatekeepers, and other persons related to the issue of the dramatic rise in the number of elderly prisoners being held in Japan. Some of the questions he intends to answer include: how do we enhance the life for older offenders living in prisons, how do we enhance life for older ex-offenders transitioning to life outside of prison, and how can integrating vulnerable older people such as ex-offenders, enhance the lives of all community members?

Paul Jones received a grant of $1M from The Henry Luce Foundation for the research project, “Religion and its Publics” (Fall 2016 to Spring 2019), with co-Principal Investigator Professor Charles Mathewes. Activities will include a graduate student seminar, a Senior Fellows seminar, interdisciplinary workshops, residency workshops, lectures, and three annual conferences.

Alexander Nagel has been awarded $50K for a pilot project on "Religious practice and diversity in refugee camps," funded by the Georg-August-University (November 2016 - December 2017).

Daniel Sulmasy will assume a new position as inaugural Andre Hellegers Professor of Biomedical Ethics at the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, with co-appointments in the Departments of Philosophy and Medicine, on January 1, 2017. 

July 2016

Andrea Bieler has accepted a Chair at the University of Basel Divinity School, in Switzerland, effective in 2017.  Previously, no woman held a Chair position.

Elizabeth Bucar was one of three awardees for a new grant program of the Amercian Council of Societies, the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs (RJIA).  Her project is entitled "Reporting Religion."

Also, Elizabeth Bucar was named to the new position of “Dean’s Leadership Fellow.” Her portfolio in this position includes supporting humanities faculty in her college with their applications to humanities grants and fellowships.

Jason Danely is President-Elect of the Association of Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course.

 Alexander Nagel was accepted as a regular member in the German Council of Migration and appointed to an expert committee on religious diversity, organized by the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Christopher Scott accepted a new position and is now senior faculty and Associate Director of Health Policy at the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine.  


April 2016

Jeffrey Haynes, London Metropolitan University, was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Religion and International Relations section of the International Studies Association (ISA) at the ISA's March 2016 conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The International Studies Association is a widely respected scholarly association dedicated to international studies based in the US. Established in 1959, the ISA has over 6,500 members worldwide. Professor Ron Hassner, associate professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and founder and chair of the Religion and International Relations section of the ISA, commented: "We all strongly and enthusiastically share the view that [Professor Haynes’s] work as a scholar and teacher has contributed greatly to the flourishing of our field. We recognise both [Professor Haynes’s] early work on religion and IR, which animated many of us to join [his] efforts, and [his] continued support and citizenship in our section. We offer this modest recognition as a way of expressing our gratitude." On the award, Dr Liz Charman, London Metropolitan University’s Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, said “I was delighted to learn of Professor Haynes’s award. This is a great achievement and it is an honour to work alongside him and so many colleagues across the Faculty who make similarly large contributions to their fields.” 

Enhancing Life Project In the News

In the News

Our Scholars are frequently featured in the media, discussing their individual projects. Here are recent examples:

December 2016

Amit Pinchevski (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) delivered a presentation titled “The Third Witness: Testimony and Trauma from a Media Perspective,” given at the Center for the Study of Jewish Thought in Modern Culture Conference at the University of Copenhagen. A video of the presentation is available on Youtube. 

November 2016

Barbara Rossing (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) was featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune, in the story "Hyde Park seminary to return 9th century New Testament to Greek Orthodox Church"

October 2016

Menahem Blondheim (Hebrew University) gave two interviews in Israel’s most-read news magazine (IBA’s yoman hatzahoraim) and a one hour interview for The Voice of Israel’s “Hidavrut.” All interviews conducted in Hebrew.

September 2016

Michael Luchs (College of William & Mary School of Business) had his course, Customer Insights, which was oriented around the Enhancing Life theme of ‘well being’, featured by his university in an article and a video.

August 2016

The Longevity Conference organized by Ruben Zimmerman (Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz) was included in the new Journal of the Faculty of Theology in Mainz, “MaTheoZ” (in German). 

July 2016

Jeffrey Haynes (London Metropolitan University) was part of a panel focusing on ‘Global Citizenship Education’ at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations 7th Annual Global Forum, April 25-26, 2016. He spoke for 10 minutes and the video of the panel is available here.  As a result of the panel, he gave an interview on UNAOC and religious extremism to an Iran-based news agency and a transcript of the interview is available here.  

The research project of Michael Luchs (College of William and Mary School of Business) has been featured on the business school’s webpage, a blog for alumni, and a local newspaper.

Daniel Sulmasy, “California Doctors Readying for Assisted Suicide Law,” interview with Larry Mantle on NPR show, “Air Time,” KPCC, KUOR, KVLA Radio, Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 21, 2016.

April 2016

Barbara Rossing (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) was featured discussing eschatology in a documentary titled Hell: A Survivor's Guide. You can watch the video here (password: hell). 

Ruth Farrell (Cleveland Clinic) worked as a bioethicist on the team that recently performed the nation's first uterine transplant. She was featured in several photos as part of news coverage of the event. Check them out here.

Research by Aasim Padela (University of Chicago) was featured in "Harper's Index," a regular feature in Harper's magazine. Take a look here.

Aasim Padela (University of Chicago) was quoted in the article “American Muslim Doctors Face Greater Scrutiny, Even Patients’ Suspicions” by Lena H. Sun, Washington Post, December 11, 2015. Read it here.

Christopher Scott (Stanford University) was interviewed for an Al Jazeera America documentary in its award-winning series Fault Lines, on longevity and gene research. Watch it here.

Christopher Scott (Stanford University) was interviewed by the digital news agency OZY. Read the article here.

Sebastian Sattler (University of Cologne) talks about drugs enhancing your brain at Jameda

Daniel Sulmasy (University of Chicago) was quoted in the article “Will California’s end-of-life law push lethal drugs over costlier care?” by Soumya Karlamangla, LA Times, Oct. 19, 2015, p. A1. Read it here

Daniel Sulmasy (University of Chicago) was featured in the article “Greater Palliative Care Knowledge in Nursing Homes Linked to Less Aggressive End of Life Care,” by Stacey Kusterbeck, Medical Ethics Advisor, December 2015; 39(12): 133-136. Read it here.

Nicole Vincent (Georgia State University) participated in an Intelligence Squared public debate in Washington, D.C., which was also televised. Watch it here.

Nicole Vincent (Georgia State University) appeared in a five-minute TV segment on CCTV America. The segment was entitled "The search for a pill to boost brain power." Watch it here.

Nicole Vincent (Georgia State University) was a guest on RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane, WHYY Philadelphia, PA, which was also broadcast on NPR. Listen to the interview here.

Enhancing Life Project Summer 2016

Summer 2016

Advanced Career Scholars: Sunday July 24 – Sunday August 7, 2016

Early Career Scholars: Tuesday August 2 – Sunday August 7, 2016

Our second seminar was held at Liebenberg Castle near Berlin, Germany.  With a history reaching back to 1267 and several buildings and a large park forming a unique ensemble, Liebenberg Castle today hosts cultural events and international conferences.  The foundation managing Liebenberg Castle is aiming to promote social and ecological responsibility.  More information may be found at their website.

Enhancing Life Project The Enhancing Life Project Announces its Scholars

The Enhancing Life Project Announces its Scholars

After a rigorous international and interdisciplinary selection process involving many experts on the Advisory Board and the Selection Committee, The Enhancing Life Project is pleased to announce its Scholars:


Pamela Sue Anderson, Professor of Modern European Philosophy of Religion, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Maria Antonaccio, Presidential Professor of Religion, Bucknell University, United States

Sarah Bianchi, post-doc in Philosophy, Humboldt University, Germany

Andrea Bieler, Professor of Practical Theology, Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal/Bethel, Germany

Menahem Blondheim, Newhouse Chair in Communications and Head of Truman Institute, Hebrew University, Israel

Elizabeth Bucar, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Northeastern University, United States

Kristine Culp, Associate Professor of Theology, The University of Chicago, and Dean of The Disciples Divinity House, United States

Jason Danely, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology of Japan, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom

Ruth Farrell, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, United States

Jeffrey Haynes, Associate Dean of Faculty and Director of Research Centre, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Michael Hogue, Professor of Theology, Meadville Lombard Theological School, United States

Michael Ing, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University, United States

Paul Jones, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Co-Director of the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, University of Virginia, United States

Christoph Krönke, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Law, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Germany

Stephen Lakkis, Adj. Associate Professor for Systematic Theology and Director of the Center for Public Theology Taiwan, Tainan Theological College and Seminary, Taiwan

Michael Luchs, Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of Innovation and Design Studio, College of William & Mary, United States

Robin Mansell, Professor of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom

Karline McLain, Associate Professor of Religion and Chair of Religious Studies Department, Bucknell University, United States

Monique Mitchell, Research Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, United States

Anne Mocko, Assistant Professor of Religion, Concordia College (Moorhead), United States

Alexander-Kenneth Nagel, Professor of Religious Studies, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

Matthew O'Hara, Associate Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz, United States

Aasim Padela, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Initiative on Islam and Medicine, The University of Chicago, United States

Amit Pinchevski, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Barbara Rossing, Professor of New Testament, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, United States

Sebastian Sattler, Research assistant at the Institute for Sociology and Social Psychology, University of Cologne and Post-doctoral fellow at the Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences (CGS), University of Cologne, Germany

William Schweiker, Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics, The University of Chicago, United States

Lea Schweitz, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology/Religion and Science and Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, United States

Christopher Scott, Director of Center for Biomedical Ethics and Senior Research Scholar, Stanford University, United States

Nazar Shabila, Research Fellow and Lecturer in Department of Community Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Iraq

Daniel Sulmasy, Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics and Directorof Program on Medicine and Religion, The University of Chicago, United States

Günter Thomas, Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany

Nicole Vincent, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Law, and Neuroscience and Chief Investigator, Enhancing Responsibility Project, Georgia State University, United States

Martin Wendte, Lecturer (‘Privatdozent’) in Systematic Theology, Eberhard Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany

Ruben Zimmermann, Professor for New Testament Studies, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany


More information on the scholars and their projects can be found on our People page.

Enhancing Life Project Summer 2017

Summer 2017

Residency Seminar for Scholars, Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan Wisconsin

Advanced Career Scholars: Sunday July 23 – Monday August 7, 2017

Early Career Scholars: Tuesday August 1 – Monday August 7, 2017


Capstone conference, open to the public:  Friday August 4 – Sunday August 6, 2017

Our capstone conference will be at the Gleacher Center of the University of Chicago, 450 N Cityfront Plaza Dr, Chicago, IL. More information will follow.  All are welcome!