Project Description

I. Introduction: The Big Questions

The purpose of The Enhancing Life Project is to explore essential aspirations of human beings that move persons and communities into the future. Yet the human drive to enhance life is often an implicit aim in many cultural, technological, and spiritual processes and it is intertwined with what Charles Taylor, a Templeton Award winner, has helpfully called the social imaginary, which includes the religious imaginary as well.[1] Because human aspirations are often implicit in a society’s culture and are intertwined with religious narratives, symbols, and rituals, it is not surprising that the desire to enhance life is as pervasive as it is overlooked in the academy and even in public life. The Project explores this rich but widely unexamined dimension of human aspiration and social life.


The goal of The Enhancing Life Project is to address the following Big Questions: 1)“What does it mean to enhance life, including spiritual life?” 2) “Correlatively, what are the spiritual laws for the strategies, social mechanisms, and technologies that enable us to enhance life in its many dimensions and in measurable ways?”  By asking and answering these Big Questions, The Enhancing Life Project brings to articulation and also assesses assumptions hitherto submerged within the academy and public perception about the fullness of life and how it is to be measurably enhanced.


The Project Description sets forth the aim, structure, and goals of The Enhancing Life Project as configuring a new discipline of study.



            [1] On the intersection between the socio-cultural and religious imaginary and the enhancement of life see Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Boston: Harvard University, 2007), William Schweiker, Dust That Breathes: Christian Faith and the New Humanisms (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), Jürgen Habermas, The Future of Human Nature (Cambridge: Polity, 2003) and Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (New York: Picador, 2002).