Paul Scherz

Academic Area

  • Moral Theology/Ethics
  • School

  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
  • Expertise

  • Bioethics
  • Ethics and Practice
  • Michel Focault's Ethics
  • Religion and Science
  • Technology Ethics
  • Virtue ethics (focusing on Stoicism)
  • Latest Publications

    Scherz, P. (2019) Science and Christian Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Scherz, P. (2018) Living Indefinitely and Living Fully: Laudato Si’ and the Value of the Present in Christian, Stoic, and Transhumanist Temporalities. Theological Studies. 79 (2): 356–375.

    Scherz, P. (2017) Prudence, Precaution, and Uncertainty: Assessing the Health Benefits and Ecological Risks of Gene Drive Technology Using the Quasi-Integral Parts of Prudence. The Thomist. 81 (4): 507–538.

    Biography

    Paul Scherz began his academic career researching the genetics of embryonic development. After completing a B.A. at U.C. Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Genetics at Harvard University, and a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF, he decided to investigate the theological and ethical implications of biomedical research. He received an M.T.S. and a Ph.D. in Moral Theology from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Scherz researches the moral theology of biotechnology and medical practice, with a focus on the role of the Stoic virtue tradition in Christian ethics. His book, Science and Christian Ethics, draws on his dual training to examine the moral formation of scientists, especially in the face of the reproducibility crisis in science.

    His current research project examines the role that quantitative risk analysis plays in contemporary practical reason and social practice in areas such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing, risk-reducing medications, the use of algorithms in social media, and contemporary governance. He compares these attempts to control future dangers with classical understandings of prudence and Christian calls to avoid excessive solicitude. He also studies end-of-life ethics, examining how concepts embedded in the ars moriendi tradition can inform contemporary aging and dying.