Dean and Margaret E. Burton Professor
A leader in the field of religious studies with particular scholarly interest in bioethics and Jewish studies, Laurie Zoloth’s research explores religion and ethics, drawing from sources ranging from biblical and Talmudic texts to postmodern Jewish philosophy, including the writings of Emmanuel Levinas. Her scholarship spans the ethics of genetic engineering, stem cell research, synthetic biology, social justice in health care, and how science and medicine are taught.
She is the author of Health Care and the Ethics of Encounter: A Jewish Discussion of Social Justice. She previously served as president of the American Academy of Religion and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Her work on bioethics and health care has led to an appointment on the NASA Advisory Council, the space agency’s highest civilian advisory board; the International Planetary Protection Committee; the national Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee; and the executive committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.
Zoloth began her career as a neonatal nurse working in impoverished communities. She holds a BA in women’s studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BSN in nursing from the University of the State of New York. She received an MA in Jewish studies and a PhD in social ethics from the Graduate Theological Union. She also received an MA in English from San Francisco State University.