William Schweiker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

William Schweiker (born 1953) is the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chicago.


Schweiker was born on December 29, 1953 in Des Moines, Iowa. He earned his B.A. from Simpson College in 1976, his M. Div. from Duke Divinity School in 1980, and his PhD. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1985.[1] After graduating, he accepted an assistant professorship in theology and ethics at the University of Iowa. In 1989, he returned to the University of Chicago as associate professor, was made full professor in 2000, and appointed the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics in 2007. That year, he also became director of the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School.[2]

He has been guest professor at Uppsala University, where he received an honorary doctorate, and Mercator Professor at the University of Heidelberg, and lectured in China,[3] South Korea, and South Africa. In 2015/16 Schweiker served as president of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Academic work[edit]

Schweiker's books focus on the ways in which humanity is vulnerable to new powers and the responsibilities these powers and vulnerabilities generate for human agents.[1] His work crosses the disciplinary lines of ethics, systematic theology, and hermeneutic philosophy. He is the author of numerous books with translations into Korean, Chinese, and essays in German. His Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics: In the Time of Many Worlds (2004) was nominated for the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in religion (2005). Recently, he has been a leader in the development of “Theological Humanism,” a religious and ethical position for the global situation.[4] His recent work engages theological and ethical questions attentive to global dynamics, comparative ethics, and the possibilities of a renewed and robust religious humanism.[5] Professor Schweiker is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and is Theologian in Residence at the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple.

Schweiker is editor of the Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics, a collection of essays on religious ethics.[6] Schweiker is one of the principle investigators (together with Gunter Thomas, Bochum) of the "Enhancing Life Project", an interdisciplinary research project supported by the Templeton foundation.

Selected Works[edit]

  • 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).
  • Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethic (2005) [Editor]


On January 31, 2014 Schweiker received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University for his "insightful studies of the epistemology of morality, especially his reinterpretation of the conscience in the light of post-modern criticism."[7]


  1. ^ a b "William Schweiker Faculty Page". divinity.uchicago.edu. University of Chicago. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Williams, Libbi. "Interview with William Schweiker". Journal of Lutheran Ethics. Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  3. ^ "William Schweiker in Shanghai and Beijing". The University of Chicago. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Mudge, Lewis (2008). The Gift of Responsibility: The Promise of Dialogue Among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 18. ISBN 0826428398. 
  5. ^ "William Schweiker". Amazon.com. Amazon. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Blackwell Reference Online". Blackwell. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  7. ^ "Theologians name new honorary doctors - Uppsala University, Sweden". www.uu.se. Retrieved 2016-02-03.