Dr David Kirchhoffer

Director, Queensland Bioethics Centre
Religion and Theology

Dr Darren Kirchhoffer

Areas of expertise: ethics; moral theology; practical theology; human dignity; autonomy

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2902-2513

Phone: +617 3623 7574

Email: David.Kirchhoffer@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Brisbane Campus

Since 2017, Dr David Kirchhoffer has been the Director of the Queensland Bioethics Centre, a collaboration between Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the Archdiocese of Brisbane. He is a faculty member of the ACU’s School of Theology and Philosophy. Dr Kirchhoffer is a member of the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry and currently co-investigator on the five-year project: ‘Redeeming Autonomy: Agency, Vulnerability, and Relationality,’ funded and hosted by ACU. This project investigates the limits of the concepts of autonomy and respect for autonomy in contemporary ethics. Since 2016, he has been appointed by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity as a Roman Catholic Commissioner on the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, where he forms part of the sub-commission working on moral discernment in the churches.

David Kirchhoffer's primary research focus is on the meaning and relevance of the concept of human dignity, and contemporary understandings of the human person in contemporary ethics, in the fields of biomedical ethics, business ethics, social ethics, and personal ethics. More recently this has developed in the direction of the limitations of respect for autonomy.

Dr Kirchhoffer completed his doctoral studies in theological ethics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven), Belgium. Upon completion of his doctorate, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law at KULeuven. Dr Kirchhoffer was a senior visiting fellow at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the National University of Singapore in 2015 and a senior research associate of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Johannesburg.  

Select publication

  • 2019
    • Kirchhoffer, David G., Richards, Bernadette J. (eds), Beyond Consent: Limits and Alternatives to Respect for Autonomy in Human Research Ethics and Law. 2019. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2018
    • Kirchhoffer, David G., (2018), “How Ecology Can Save the Life of Theology: A Philosophical Contribution to the Engagement of Ecology and Theology.” Theology and Ecology Across the Disciplines: On Care for Our Common Home. Deane-Drummond, C. (Ed) & R. Artinian-Kaiser (Ed). London, United Kingdom., T&T Clark, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. (2015)
  • 2017
    • Kirchhoffer, David G., “Human Dignity and Human Enhancement: Multidimensional Approach.” Bioethics, 31,5 (2017): 375-383  
  • 2016
    • Kirchhoffer, David G., “Roman Catholic Church on the Secularization of the Concept of Human Dignity”. Louvain Studies, 39, 3 (2016): 240-260
    • Kirchhoffer, David G., “Question Human Dignity: The Dimensions of Dignity Model as a Bridge Between Cosmopolitanism and the Particular”. Religion and Culture in Dialogue: East and West Perspectives, ed. Janis Ozolins, New York, Springer (2016)
  • 2015
    • Kirchhoffer, David G., “Personhood and Human Dignity.” Foundations of Health Care Ethics: Theory to Practice, J. Grainger (Ed) & J. Ozolins (Ed), 51-69. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (2015)


Public Engagment

ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Mailing address

C/- 115 Victoria Pde
Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.