Gerald McKenny

Gerald  McKenny

Endowed Professor
Walter Professor of Theology
Moral Theology/Christian Ethics


B.A., Wheaton College [Illinois] 1979; M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1982; Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1989

Research and Teaching Interests

McKenny teaches and writes on Christian ethics and the ethics of biotechnology. He is the author of To Relieve the Human Condition (SUNY Press, 1997), a Choice Outstanding Book, The Analogy of Grace: Karl Barth’s Moral Theology (Oxford University Press, 2010), and about thirty-five articles and book chapters in Christian ethics, biomedical ethics, the ethics of biotechnology, religious ethics, and the philosophy of medicine. He is co-editor of three books, including The Ethical (Blackwell, 2003) and Altering Nature (two volumes) (Springer, 2008). He is nearing the completion of a book on Christian ethics and biotechnology and has begun work on another book on eschatological political theology. Prior to coming to Notre Dame in 2001 McKenny taught at Rice University, where he served as chair of the Department of Religious Studies and as co-director of a PhD program in health care ethics linking Rice with the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. At Notre Dame he served as director of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values for eight years.

Recent Publications

The Analogy of Grace: Karl Barth’s Moral Theology, Oxford University Press, 2010

“Transcendence, Technological Enhancement, and Christian Theology,” in Transhumanism and Transcendence: Christian Hope in an Age of Technological Enhancement, edited by Ronald Cole-Turner, Georgetown University Press, 2011, pp. 177-92

“Nature as Given, Nature as Guide, Nature as Natural Kinds: Return to Nature in the Ethics of Human Biotechnology,” in Without Nature? A New Condition for Theology, edited by David Albertson & Cabell King, Fordham University Press, 2009, pp. 152-77

“Moral Disagreement and the Limits of Reason: Reflections on MacIntyre and Ratzinger,” in Intractable Disputes about the Natural Law: Alasdair MacIntyre and Critics, edited by Lawrence Cunningham, University of Notre Dame Press, 2009, pp. 195-226


443 Malloy Hall