Medicine and Theology: From Embryos to the Posthuman

On February 22, 2006, the Grove City Society for Science, Faith and Technology will sponsor a one-day conference entitled Medicine and Theology: From Embryos to the Posthuman. This conference will be held in the Sticht lecture room of the Hall of Arts and Letters between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  (See schedule and information about the speakers below.)

The bioethics and theological implications of stem cell research, cloning, and other biotechnology issues will be the central topics for the conference.  The speakers include medical researchers as well as ethicists and theologians.  While current use of technology (e.g., regenerative medicine) is important and will be discussed, the conference will also deal with the not-too-distant, and potentially much more controversial, use of technology such as nanotechnology for human re-engineering and enhancement.

The conference is free and open to the public.  (No registration is required.)  For additional information, please contact: Dr. Kevin Seybold at [email protected] or 724-458-2002.

Conference Schedule

10:00 Responsible Realization of Stem Cell’s Clinical
Promises in Regenerative Medicine

– Assistant Member, Magee-Womens Research Institute
– Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and
Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
– Faculty Member, Pittsburgh Development Center

11:00 Cells, Embryos, Souls, and Persons: From
Psalm 139 to the Lab and Back Again
– H. Parker Sharp Professor of Theology and Ethics
– Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

12:00 Break for Lunch

2:00 Embryos, Neighbors, and Human Transformation:
Stem Cell Research, Cloning, and a Posthuman

– Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics
– Director of Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for
Ethics and Values
– Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

3:00 Techno sapiens?: A Theological Evaluation of Human
Re-engineering and “Enhancement”

– Assistant Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of
– Director of Bioethics Education, Mayo Graduate
School of Medicine

4:00 Panel Discussion
Moderator: KEVIN SEYBOLD, Grove City College

5:30 Final Remarks and Dismissal

About the Speakers

Ron Cole-Turner

Ronald Cole-Turner teaches theology and ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he holds the H. Parker Sharp chair.He is the author of The New Genesis: Theology and the Genetic Revolution, editor of Human Cloning: Religious Responses and Beyond Cloning: Religion and the Remaking of Humanity, and co-editor with Brent Waters of God and the Embryo.  He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, a member of the advisory board of the John Templeton Foundation and of the Metanexus Institute, and among other projects he is coordinating the development of a large web-database, “Who’s Who in Science and Religion.”  He is completing the editing of a book on human germline modification and is working on a new book on embryo research.  He is married and has two grown daughters.

Christopher Hook

Christopher Hook is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and the Director of Bioethics Education at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.  His research interests are in the area of hematology, particularly nonmalignant hematology, myeloproliferative disorders, and coagulation disorders.  Dr. Hook also works in the developing field of medicine known as palliative care.  In medical ethics, Dr. Hook is involved in research in reproductive medicine, genetic ethics, end-of-life ethics, and the ethics of biotechnology including cybernetics and nanotechnology.  He is a fellow of several regional and national bioethics and biotechnology institutes including the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society.  A graduate of Greenville College (Illinois) and the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Dr. Hook has published numerous articles in professional journals such as the British Journal of Haematology, the American Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Neurology, and the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Calvin Simerly

Calvin Simerly was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh in 2001 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.  He is also an Assistant Member of the Magee-Womens Research Institute and faculty at the Pittsburgh Development Center.  Dr. Simerly’s research converges on understanding human reproduction and development through discoveries on the cellular and molecular basis of fertilization and early development.He is an author and co-author of over 100 publications and articles on cellular development, infertility research, and assisted reproductive technologies.  Recently, Dr. Simerly has expanded his research investigations into embryonic stem cells and nuclear transfer (animal cloning) technology.  He received his Bachelors from Florida State University and his Doctoral Degree at the University Wisconsin-Madison.

Brent Waters

Brent Waters, D.Phil., is Director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values, and Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois.  He is the author of From Human to Posthuman: Christian Theology and Technology in a Postmodern World (forthcoming), Reproductive Technology: Towards a Theology of Procreative Stewardship, Dying and Death: A Resource for Christian Reflection, and Pastoral Genetics: Theology and Care at the Beginning of Life (with co-author Ronald Cole-Turner), and editor of God and the Embryo: Religious Voices on Stem Cells and Cloning (with co-editor Ronald Cole-Turner).  Waters has also written numerous articles and lectured extensively on the relationship among theology, ethics and technology. He is currently pursuing a research project on Christian moral theology in an emerging technoculture.  Waters has served previously as the Director of the Center for Business, Religion and Public Life, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  He is a graduate of the University of Redlands (B.A.), School of Theology at Claremont (M.Div., D.Min.), and the University of Oxford (D.Phil.).