Paul Scherz

Paul Scherz

Research Fellow


Paul Scherz is an Associate Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. His research examines the ethics of genetic research, moral formation in science, the ethical effects of technology, and the role of risk in contemporary culture. He is the author of Science and Christian Ethics and co-editor of The Evening of Life: The Challenges of Aging and Dying Well.

Research Project:

Quantitative understandings of risk are central to social arenas like genetics, finance, and social media. Yet little theological work examines how conceptions of risk affect understandings of human flourishing. Scherz’s project draws on social and biological science to develop a theological anthropology addressing ethical implications of risk analysis in both individual decisions and social governance. It will first investigate how probabilistic thought shapes the relationship to uncertain future action in theologically relevant ways: control over the future, reliance on divine providence, and increased anxiety. Second, it will examine the use of Big Data-based risk analyses to increase social control through behavioristic understandings of human nature. The theological resources developed in this project will suggest how individuals and society can responsibly use risk analysis tools.


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