2018 Conference Speakers

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Our conference plenary speakers are well-respected in their fields and present during conference plenary sessions. They are joined by dozens of workshop and parallel presenters from a wide spectrum of professional backgrounds and topical expertise.

 Christina Bieber Lake, PhD

Christina Bieber Lake, PhD

Dr. Christina Bieber Lake is the Clyde S. Kilby professor of English at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, where she teaches classes in contemporary American literature and literary theory. She is the author of Prophets of the Posthuman: American Fiction, Biotechnology, and the Ethics of Personhood (University of Notre Dame Press), a book that draws upon theological resources as it investigates, through fiction, the motivations for human enhancement. Prophets of the Posthuman won the 2014 Aldersgate prize for integrative Christian scholarship.

Dr. Lake frequently contributes essays on fiction, ethics, and film to Books & Culture and The Cresset, as well as scholarly journals. She is a frequent contributor to scholarly work on Flannery O'Connor, and her book The Incarnational Art of Flannery O’Connor (Mercer University Press), describes how O’Connor viewed fiction as an ideal way to fight Gnostic dualisms prevalent in American intellectual and religious life. She is currently completing a manuscript, Beyond the Story, which argues that storytelling is inherently theological.

 C. Christopher Hook, MD

C. Christopher Hook, MD

Dr. C. Christopher Hook is a consultant and Chair of the Core/Consultative Hematology Section in the Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, and the Special Coagulation Clinic and Laboratory, and Associate Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. He is a graduate of Greenville College, Greenville, IL (BA in Chemistry, cum laude), and the University of Illinois College of Medicine (MD). He received his training in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. In addition to his work in Hematology, Dr. Hook founded the Ethics Committee and Consultation Service for Mayo Jacksonville, as well as the Clinical Ethics Council, the Ethics Consultation Service, the Reproductive Medicine Advisory Board, and the Transplantation Ethics Advisory Board for Mayo Clinic Rochester. He was the primary author of a web-based ethics curriculum for the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.

Dr. Hook is a Senior Fellow of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, and a Fellow of the Wilberforce Fellows, Washington, DC. He is serving his third term on the CMDA Ethics Commission. A founding member of Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics, he has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on the ethics of human embryonic stem cell research. 

  Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD

Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD

Dr. Warren Kinghorn is Associate Research Professor of Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology at Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School; co-director of the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School, and a staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center. He has written on the philosophy of psychiatric diagnosis, the moral dimensions of combat trauma, the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas, and the role of religious communities in walking with persons with mental health problems.

  Paul Scherz, PhD, PhD

Paul Scherz,<br />
PhD, PhD

Dr. Paul Scherz is an Assistant Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics at the Catholic University of America. His research examines the interrelationship between ethics, religion, science, technology, and medicine. Dr. Scherz’s research interest draws on his dual trainings in theology and molecular biology. He received a PhD in genetics from Harvard University and a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at the University of California, San Francisco. After growing interested in the ethical and theological issues arising from his scientific research, he received a PhD in moral theology from the University of Notre Dame.

He has published widely in both science and theology in journals such as Science, Cell, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Pro Ecclesia, Studies in Christian Ethics, the Journal of Religious Ethics, and the Journal of the Society for Christian Ethics. He is a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, and a Fellow at the Institute for Human Ecology at CUA.

  Read Mercer Schuchardt, PhD

Read Mercer Schuchardt, PhD

Dr. Read Mercer Schuchardt is Associate Professor of Communication at Wheaton College. He earned his PhD in Media Ecology under the invitation and direction of Neil Postman at New York University. He is the co-author of Understanding Jacques Ellul, Editorial Chair of Second Nature Journal (secondnaturejournal.com), and a member of the Media Ecology Association and the International Jacques Ellul Society. He is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and civic auditoriums nationally and internationally on the relationship of technology to human flourishing. He and his wife Rachel homeschool seven of their ten children, have two grandchildren, and attend Church of the Resurrection (Anglican) in Wheaton, IL. 

 Michael Sleasman, PhD

Michael Sleasman, PhD

Dr. Michael J. Sleasman is the Managing Director and Research Scholar for The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity (CBHD). He is an affiliate professor of bioethics for Trinity Graduate School and has served as an adjunct instructor and online course tutor at the college and graduate level in the areas of philosophy, theology, ethics, and cultural engagement. 

Dr. Sleasman is the coeditor of Everyday Theology: How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends (Baker Academic) with Kevin Vanhoozer and Charles Anderson. His areas of research specialization include the theological engagement of bioethical issues with particular emphasis on biotechnology, other emerging technologies, and human futures, as well as the intersection of technology, ethics, and culture in general.  Read More

 Pia de Solenni, SThD

Pia de Solenni, PhD

Dr. Pia de Solenni is a theologian, ethicist, and cultural analyst. She serves as the Associate Dean of the Augustine Institute - Orange County, located at Christ Cathedral. She also serves as theological consultant to the Office of the Bishop of Orange County. Dr. de Solenni is an expert in issues relating to women’s health, life issues, the new feminism, Catholicism, and culture. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor, and National Review Online. She is also a consultant member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Dr. de Solenni has participated in many radio and television talk shows on various topics. She has appeared on MSNBC, “Hardball with Chris Matthews”, “The O’Reilly Factor”, CNN, ABC News, among others. Dr. de Solenni has been quoted in newspapers nationwide, including The New York Times, The Washington Times, and The Associated Press.  Read More

  Morse Tan, JD

Morse Tan, JD

Professor Morse Tan is the youngest full Professor at Northern Illinois University College of Law and has worked on five U.S. Supreme Court pro vita. He has taught bioethics and constitutional law courses at a number of law schools, medical schools, and graduate schools. He was a Visiting Scholar and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Texas Law School. He has practiced healthcare law in a large law firm, as well as solo practitioner arenas.

Professor Tan has served on the CMDA Ethics Committee, the Board of Advocates International, and as an Honor Corps Attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Media contributions have included United Press International (UPI), WGN+, the National Law Journal, Radio Free Asia, a Danish newspaper, and Semana (a major Latin American news magazine). He has published law review articles, such as in Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine. Public speaking has taken him to Cornell Law School, the U.S. State Department, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and John Hopkins University. As the leading American law professor regarding North Korea, he is the author of North Korea, International Law and the Dual Crises (Routledge). An emerging leader with the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, and a Supreme Court Fellowship Finalist, he received his BA and MA from Wheaton College (IL), before attaining the JD from Northwestern University School of Law. He is the husband of Dr. Sarah Tan and the dad of four children.

 Stephen Williams, PhD

Stephen Williams, PhD

Dr. Stephen Williams is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Union Theological College, Belfast. He holds MA degrees from Oxford University (Modern History) and Cambridge University (Theology) and a doctorate in Theology from Yale University (Department of Religious Studies). Subsequently, he has held chairs in Theology at United Presbyterian Theological College, Aberystwyth (Wales) and Belfast from 1993-2017. He has published in several areas, including theology, ethics, and intellectual history. His books include Revelation and Reconciliation: a Window on Modernity (Cambridge University Press); The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity (Baker Academic) and a revised version of his Kantzer Lectures, delivered at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2009, The Election of Grace: A Riddle without a Resolution? (Eerdmans). He has lectured in various parts of the world and has had a particular link with Central Europe, notably, Poland.

Dr. Williams has long been involved in the field of bioethics. He has served on the Editorial Board of Ethics & Medicine and spoke at the inaugural CBHD conference in 1994. During the Spring 2018 Semester, he will be holding a Research Fellowship at the Henry Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, researching the connection between a Christian understanding of creation and philosophies undergirding developments in artificial intelligence.

 

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