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October 1, 2019
On Campus

Posthuman or Perfected Human?

Author and Theologian Gilbert Meilaender to Speak About Biotech Enhancement and the History of Redemption for the Kenneth H. Sauer Luther Symposium

Author and theologian Gilbert Meilaender will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Kenneth H. Sauer Luther Symposium as part of the 2019-2020 Wittenberg Series. Meilaender’s address is titled “Posthuman or Perfected Human? Biotech Enhancement and the History of Redemption” and will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in Bayley Auditorium at the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. 

Widely known for his work in the area of bioethics, Meilaender is a senior research professor of theology at Valparaiso University and the Paul Ramsey Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.

The author of numerous books and articles, Meilaender has focused his scholarly work in the field of Christian ethics, writing on subjects such as biotechnology, aging, vocation, the ethic of virtue, and friendship. His books include Neither Beast Nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person; Should We Live Forever?: The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging; Friendship: A Study in Theological Ethics; and his widely regarded Bioethics: A Primer for Christians.

Appointed by former President George W. Bush, Meilaender served on the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2002-2009. He is currently a fellow of the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics research institution.

He is co-editor with William Werpehowski of The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics, as well as an associate editor of Religious Studies Review and the Journal of Religious Ethics, and has served on the board of directors of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Prior to his current position at Valparaiso, he held the Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics there and taught at Oberlin College and the University of Virginia. He earned a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary and a doctorate from Princeton University.

While on Wittenberg's campus, Meilaender will participate in a Q & A session at 3:30 p.m. at Weaver Chapel.

Now in its 37th year, the Wittenberg Series brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the Wittenberg campus and Springfield community. To make special arrangements, request a Series poster, or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Lisa Watson at WatsonL4@wittenberg.edu. All Wittenberg Series events are free and open to the public. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of each lecture or performance. Below are further details related to this year’s Series.

2019-2020 Wittenberg Series Events:

  • Monday, Oct. 21: Dance concert featuring Step Afrika!, 7:30 p.m., Pam Evans Smith Arena in the Health, Wellness, and Athletics Complex. 
  • Sunday, Oct. 27: Festival Choral Eucharist for Reformation Service, 7:30 p.m. in Weaver Chapel (music begins at 7 p.m.), featuring The Rev. Dr. William O. Gafkjen, Bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Friday, Dec. 6: Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas, 7:30 p.m. (pre-service music begins at 7 p.m.), Weaver Chapel.
  • Monday, Jan. 20, 2020: Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, 11:15 a.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Freeman A. Hrabowski III, educator, advocate, mathematician, and president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Q & A, 2:45 p.m., 105 Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning.
  • Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020: Comedy and improv show featuring The Second City, 7:30 p.m., John Legend Theater at The Dome, 700 South Limestone Street. For mature audiences.
  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020: Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Charles M. Blow, journalist, commentator, and New York Times op-ed columnist. Q & A, 4:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium.
  • Monday, March 30, 2020: William A. Kinnison Endowed Lecture in History, 7:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium, featuring Eric H. Cline, author, historian, and professor of classics, history, and anthropology at George Washington University.

For more information on the Wittenberg Series, click here.

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Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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