Emily Dumler-Winckler is an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and Constructive Theology at Saint Louis University. Her areas of research include virtue theory (ancient and modern), Christian ethics and moral theology, constructive theology (historical, moral, philosophical, systematic, and political) and women and gender studies. Her first book is on modern virtue in relation to the work of Mary Wollstonecraft. On this project, she will develop her work on questions of virtue, habit, exemplarity, and the imitation of Christ.
The image of God and imitation of Christ have been central to Christian conceptions of theological anthropology and moral formation. There has been a renaissance in natural and social scientific approaches to the study of morality, and specifically of virtue, habit, and exemplarity. The primary research questions that inform Dumler-Winckler’s project include: What are virtues, habits, and exemplars and what role do they play in the imitation of Christ? This project uses philosophy of language to alleviate anxieties that undergird recent interdisciplinary debates about these terms (virtue, habit, exemplarity). It also brings these debates to bear on Christian conceptions of the image of God, the imitation of Christ, and the virtues that perfect imitation. Human beings make a home of the modern world we inhabit, Dumler-Winckler submits, not through relations of domination or detachment, but through cultivating virtues exemplified in Christ.