Official Launch: Houston Centre for Humanity and the Common Good

Date(s) - October 20, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Regent College Chapel

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Lecture Title: “Defining Humanity, Defending the Mystery of Personhood”

In his lecture, Professor Zimmermann will introduce the core tenets of the Centre—its thoroughly theological ethos, its position in intellectual history, and its unique, Christocentric, and interdisciplinary contribution to the contemporary conversation on personhood. Ultimately, the Centre’s community of scholars aims to offer the richest possible response to the question, “What does it mean to be human?” Professor Zimmermann will outline a starting point to inaugurate this mission.

Dr. Brent P. Waters, Houston Centre Senior Fellow and Emeritus Jerre and Mary Joy Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Garrett Evangelical Seminary, will offer a brief response, follow by a Q+A period for in-person attendees.


A livestream of the lecture will be available at


Dr. Jens Zimmermann is the J.I. Packer Chair of Theology and Director of the Houston Centre for Humanity and the Common Good at Regent College. He is a philosopher and theologian with interests in anthropology and epistemology. A former Canada Research Chair (2006–16), he received academic research fellowships in Oxford and Cambridge. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Center for Theology and Modern European Thought at the University of Oxford and research fellow at the University of the Free State in South Africa. Dr. Zimmermann’s current research focuses on theological anthropology in the Christian tradition and the concept of personhood.

Dr. Brent Waters is the Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Professor of Christian Social Ethics, and Director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Center for Ethics and Values at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He is the author of Just Capitalism: A Christian Ethic of Globalization and Christian Moral Theology in an Emerging Technoculture, among many other writings on the relationship between theology, ethics, and technology. Waters’s primary research interests are in the areas of Christian social and political thought, bioethics, science, and technology.

Waters has served previously as the Director of the Center for Business, Religion and Public Life at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is ordained for Christian ministry in the United Church of Christ and is a graduate of the University of Redlands (BA), School of Theology at Claremont (MDiv, DMin), and the University of Oxford (DPhil).


Grounded in Dr. James M. Houston’s comprehensive vision of integrative scholarship, the Houston Centre for Humanity and the Common Good fosters interdisciplinary and interreligious dialogue on the central question of the late-modern world: what does it mean to be human? Inviting a range of philosophical perspectives through collaboration with the University of British Columbia and other institutions, the Centre explores a holistic understanding of humanity that accounts for the unique social, political, and theological issues of our time. Led by Dr. Jens Zimmermann (J.I. Packer Chair of Theology at Regent College), the Centre generates dialogue with a community of leading scholars across disciplines—including theology, philosophy, biology, cognitive science, and political studies—in order to navigate the mystery of the human person. Through public lectures, seminars, and a variety of publications, the Houston Centre helps others engage theological questions of humanity for the sake of the common good.

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