Dr David Kirchhoffer

Religion and Theology

BSc (Wits), MPhil (St Augustine College of South Africa), MTS (KULeuven), MAS (KULeuven), PhD (KULeuven), STD (KULeuven)

Dr David Kirchhoffer is the Director of the Queensland Bioethics Centre in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at ACU. He is a member of the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry and a Chief Investigator on the ACURF Program, Redeeming Autonomy, which investigates the limits of the concepts of autonomy and respect for autonomy in contemporary ethics. Dr Kirchhoffer’s research has focused primarily on the concept of human dignity and its meaning and relevance for contemporary discourse in both fundamental and applied ethics.

Dr Kirchhoffer completed his doctoral studies in theological ethics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and worked as post-doctoral fellow at KULeuven’s Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law before taking a permanent post in ACU’s School of Theology in Brisbane. He was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Biomedical Ethics in 2015, and is a Senior Research Associate of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Johannesburg. Since October 2017, he has been director of the Queensland Bioethics Centre.

Key publications


and Bernadette Richards, ed. Beyond Consent: Limits and Alternatives to Respect for Autonomy in Human Research Ethics and Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming.

Human Dignity in Contemporary Ethics. Amherst, NY: Teneo Press, 2013.

and Robyn Horner, and Patrick McArdle, eds. Being Human: Groundwork for a Theological Anthropology for the 21st Century. Melbourne: Mosaic Books; Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013.

Book Chapters

‘Dignity, Being, and Becoming in Research Ethics’. In Beyond Consent: Limits and Alternatives to Respect for Autonomy in Human Research Ethics and Law, edited by D.G. Kirchhoffer and B. Richards. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming

‘How Ecology can Save the Life of Theology: A Philosophical Contribution to the Engagement of Ecology and Theology’. In Theology and Ecology Across the Disciplines: On Care for our Common Home, edited by C. Deane-Drummond and R. Artinian-Kaiser. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark. (Forthcoming)

‘Questioning Human Dignity: The Dimensions of Dignity Model as a Bridge Between Cosmopolitanism and the Particular’. In Religion and Culture in Dialogue: East and West Perspectives, edited by J. Ozolins. Dordrecht: Springer, 2016.

‘Human Dignity and Personhood’. In Health Care Ethics: Theory to Practice, edited by J. Grainger and J. Ozolins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

‘Turtles All the Way Down? Pressing Questions for Theological Anthropology in the Twenty-First Century’. In Questioning the Human: Toward a Theological Anthropology for the Twenty-First Century, ed. L. Boeve, Y. De Maeseneer, and E. Van Stichel. New York: Fordham University Press, 2014.


‘Human Dignity and Human Enhancement: A Multidimensional Approach’. Bioethics 31, no. 5 (2017): 375-383.

‘The Roman Catholic Church on the Secularization of the Concept of Human Dignity’. Louvain Studies 39, no. 3 (2016): 240-260.

‘What Have We Learned: Catholic Social Thought and the Movements in Australia’. Journal of Catholic Social Thought 10, no. 2 (2013): 401-412.

and K. Dierickx. ‘Human Dignity and Biobanks’, Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik/ Annual Review of Law and Ethics 20 (2012): 247-258.

and Kris Dierickx. ‘Human Dignity and Human Tissue: A Meaningful Ethical Relationship?’ Journal of Medical Ethics 37, no. 9 (2011): 552-556.

‘Bioethics and the Demise of the Concept of Dignity: Has Medicine Killed Ethics?’, Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 17 no. 2 (2011): 141-154.


ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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