Meet The Scholars

The 35 scholars of the Enhancing Life Project are an interdisciplinary and international group who will research, write, and teach on the enhancement of life in their specific disciplines, while working collaboratively to make all projects stronger.  In various ways, they will tackle the two Big Questions of the Enhancing Life Project:   1) What does it mean to enhance life, including spiritual life? 2) Correlatively, what are the strategies, social mechanisms, and technologies that enable us to enhance life in its many dimensions and in measurable ways? 

Pamela Sue Anderson

In Memoriam: 1955 - 2017
Professor of Modern European Philosophy of Religion, Fellow in Philosophy, Regent's Park College University of Oxford, Faculties of Philosophy and Theology
Oxford, United Kingdom

Maria Antonaccio

Presidential Professor of Religion
Bucknell University, Department of Religious Studies
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, United States of America


Sarah Bianchi

Post-Doctoral Fellow in Philosophy
Humboldt University, Department of Philosophy
Berlin, Germany

Andrea Bieler

Professor of Practical Theology
University of Basel
Basel, Switzerland


Menahem Blondheim

Professor of Communications, Head of Truman Institute, HU
Hebrew University, Departments of Communication and History
Jerusalem, Israel

Elizabeth Bucar

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion
Northeastern University, Department of Philosophy and Religion
Boston, Massachusetts; United States of America


Nick Couldry

Professor Of Media, Communications and Social Theory
London School Of Economics and Political Science
London, United Kingdom

Kristine Culp

Associate Professor of Theology, Dean of the Disciples Divinity House of the University of Chicago
The University of Chicago, The Divinity School
Chicago, Illinois, United States of America


Jason Danely

Senior Lecturer of Anthropology
Oxford Brookes University, Department of Anthropology
Oxford, England

Ruth Farrell

Assistant Professor of Surgery
Cleveland Clinic, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Bioethics
Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America


Jeffrey Haynes

Associate Dean of Faculty, Director of Research Centre
London Metropolitan University, Faculty of Social Sciences
London, United Kingdom

Michael Hogue

Professor of Theology
Meadville Lombard Theological School
Chicago, Illinois, United States of America


Michael Ing

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Indiana University, Department of Religious Studies
Bloomington, Indiana; United States of America

Paul Dafydd Jones

Associate Professor of Religious Studies
University of Virginia, Department of Religious Studies
Charlottesville, Virginia; United States of America


Christoph Krönke

Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Assistant of Law
Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Institute of Public Policy and Law
Munich; Germany

Stephen Lakkis

Adjunct Associate Professor of Systematic Theology; Director, Center for Public Theology
Tainan Theological College and Seminary
Tainan, Taiwan


Michael Luchs

Associate Professor of Marketing; Director, Innovation and Design Studio
College of William & Mary, School of Business
Williamsburg, Virginia; United States of America

Karline McLain

Associate Professor of Religious Studies; Chair of Religious Studies Department
Bucknell University, Department of Religious Studies
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; United States of America


Monique Mitchell

Lecturer of Social Work
University of South Carolina, College of Social Work
Columbia, South Carolina; United States of America

Anne Mocko

Assistant Professor of Religion
Concordia College, Department of Religion
Moorhead, Minnesota; United States of America


Alexander-Kenneth Nagel

Professor of Religious Studies
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Social Science Department
Göttingen, Germany

Matthew O’Hara

Associate Professor of History
University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of History
Santa Cruz, California; United States of America


Aasim Padela

Associate Professor of Medicine; Director, Initiative on Islam and Medicine
University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois; United States of America

Amit Pinchevski

Senior Lecturer of Communication and Journalism
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Communication and Journalism
Mount Scopus, Jerusalem; Israel


Barbara Rossing

Professor of New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Biblical Studies
Chicago, Illinois; United States of America

Sebastian Sattler

Research Assistant for Sociology and Social Psychology; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences (CGS)
University of Cologne, Institute for Sociology and Social Psychology
Cologne; Germany


William Schweiker

Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics
The University of Chicago, The Divinity School
Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Lea Schweitz

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology/Religion and Science; Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Department of Systematic Theology/Religion and Science
Chicago, Illinois; United States of America


Christopher Scott

Associate Director of Health Policy at the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States of America

Nazar Shabila

Research Fellow of Public Health
Hawler Medical University, Department of Community Medicine
Erbil; Iraq


Daniel Sulmasy

Andre Hellegers Professor of Biomedical Ethics
Georgetown University
Washington, DC, United States of America

Günter Thomas

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


Nicole Vincent

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Law, and Neuroscience; Chief Investigator, Enhancing Responsibility Project
Georgia State University, Department of Philosophy
Atlanta, Georgia; United States of America

Martin Wendte

Privatdozent in Evangelical Theology
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Evangelisch-theologische Fakultät
Tübingen; Germany


Ruben Zimmermann

Professor of New Testament Studies
Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, New Testament
Mainz-Kostheim, Germany

Meet the Staff

  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project William Schweiker

    William Schweiker

    Principal Investigator

    William Schweiker is the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chicago.


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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Günter Thomas

    Günter Thomas

    Principal Investigator

    Günter Thomas holds a chair for Theology specializing on Systematic Theology and Ethics at Ruhr-University Bochum / Germany.


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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Sara Bigger

    Sara Bigger

    Associate Director

    Sara Bigger directs budgetary activities, communications, public relations, and reporting for the Project and provides strategic oversight.


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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Markus Höfner

    Markus Höfner

    Project Coordinator and Research Associate

    Markus Höfner is research associate at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, at the Faculty of Protestant Theology and managing research associate at the Institute for Hermeneutics and Philosophy of Religion, University of Zurich, Switzerland


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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Heike Springhart

    Heike Springhart

    Research Associate and Project Consultant

    Heike Springhart is Dean of Theologisches Studienhaus Heidelberg and Lecturer of Systematic Theology at Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg / Germany.


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Meet the Interlocutors

In order to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration and to disseminate the work of The Enhancing Life Project, we invite “public interlocutors” who bring specific expertise in the spheres of media, religion, business, culture and the arts, to engage the members of the Project over a three-day period, at the end of each two-week residency seminar. Interactions with these interlocutors help to hone the scholars’ arguments and render them more cogent and publicly accessible.

2016

  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Dean Bell

    Dean Bell

    Dean P. Bell is Provost, Vice President, and Professor of History at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. 

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Christian Chautard

    Christian Chautard

    Christian Chautard started his career supervising operations for two leading groups in the metallurgy industry.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Evelyn Finger

    Evelyn Finger

    Evelyn Finger is senior editor for the section “Glauben und Zweifeln” (“Believing and Doubting”) of DIE ZEIT, a leading German weekly newspaper.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Gretchen Helfrich

    Gretchen Helfrich

    Gretchen Helfrich is a lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Piet Naudé

    Piet Naudé

    Piet Naudé is Director of the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Ellen Ueberschär

    Ellen Ueberschär

    Ellen Ueberschär is minister of the United Church of Berlin- Brandenburg and has been working as General Secretary for the German Protestant Convention (Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag) since 2006. 

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2015

  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Greg Cootsona

    Greg Cootsona

    Gregory Cootsona has taught comparative religion and humanities at Chico State University, California, USA since 2014.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Ronne Hartfield

    Ronne Hartfield

    Ronne Hartfield is an author, essayist, and international museum consultant.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Steve Kloehn

    Steve Kloehn

    Steve Kloehn is vice president for Marketing and Communications at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Amy Northcutt

    Amy Northcutt

    In Memoriam:  1959-2017

    Amy Northcutt holds a JD from Boston College Law School, an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and a BA from Smith College.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Heike Springhart

    Heike Springhart

    Heike Springhart is Dean of Theologisches Studienhaus Heidelberg and Lecturer of Systematic Theology at Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg / Germany.

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  • University of Chicago Enhancing Life Project Christian Wolff

    Christian Wolff

    Christian Wolff has been a Protestant minister since 1977, first in Western Germany (Mannheim), and then in Eastern Germany (Leipzig, Thomaskirche).

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