Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics; also in the College
MDiv (Duke University)
PhD (University of Chicago)
William Schweiker works in the field of theological ethics. His scholarship and teaching engage theological and ethical questions attentive to global dynamics, comparative religious ethics, the history of ethics, and hermeneutical philosophy. A frequent lecturer and visiting or guest professor at universities around the world, he has been deeply involved in collaborative international scholarly projects. His books include Mimetic Reflections: A Study in Hermeneutics, Theology and Ethics (1990); Responsibility and Christian Ethics (1995); Power, Value and Conviction: Theological Ethics in the Postmodern Age (1998); Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics: In the Time of Many Worlds (2004); Religion and the Human Future: An Essay in Theological Humanism (2008, with David E. Klemm); Dust that Breathes: Christian Faith and the New Humanisms (2010); and Religious Ethics: Meaning and Method (2019-2020, with Davd Clairmont).
Professor Schweiker has published numerous articles and award-winning essays, as well as edited and contributed to eight volumes, including Humanity Before God: Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Ethics (2006) and chief editor and contributor to A Companion to Religious Ethics (2004), a comprehensive and innovative work in the field of comparative religious ethics. He is now chief editor and contributor to the three-volume Encyclopedia of Religious Ethics (forthcoming). Schweiker’s present research and writing is a book titled Enhancing Life and the Forms of Freedom. Professor Schweiker was awarded in 2014 an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Uppsala in Uppsala, Sweden. He was a Mercator Professor, Universität Heidelberg, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (2012-2013). He was the 2015–2016 President of the Society of Christian Ethics and the Director of The Enhancing Life Project (2014-2017), supported with a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation. He is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.
Listen to Professor William Schweiker sharing his thoughts on a recent Harris Poll regarding Americans' belief in God and other trends in religion in the U.S. over the decades on WBEZ's "Morning Shift" with host Tony Serabia.
Professor Schweiker on “God and the Human Good” from the 2014 conference “God: Theological Accounts and Ethical Possibilities.”
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Prof. Schweiker is also the Director of the Enhancing Life Project.
The Enhancing Life Project, supported with a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation, explores an essential aspiration of human beings that moves persons and communities into the future. Given the profound expansion of human power through technology as well as advances in genetics, ecology, and other fields, the vulnerability and endangerment as well as the enhancement of life are dominant themes in the global age. The Enhancing Life Project aims to explore this rich but widely unexamined dimension of human aspiration and social life, and increase knowledge so that life might be enriched.