Michael Spezio to present CASIRAS/LSTC webinar February 19

Michael Spezio to present CASIRAS/LSTC webinar February 19 

Michael Spezio will present “Humility as Inclusive Empathy: Theory of Mind and Imaginaries of the True Self” on Friday, February 19, at 4 p.m., Central time. He will talk about empathy, theories about what it is and how our research with L’Arche and Homeboy Industries approaches those theories, and the implications for our understandings of self and other.   This free Zoom webinar is hosted by the Center for Advanced Studies in Religion and Science (CASIRAS) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). Register by completing this form to receive the link on February 19. 

“CASIRAS is using these webinars to engage further in the advanced science-religion dialogue that is at our core,” said CASIRAS President Gayle Woloschak. “We look forward to Dr. Spezio’s presentation as he has been a provocative thinker in the field and has published his work in the Zygon Journal over the years.” 

Spezio is associate professor of psychology, neuroscience, and data science at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. He directs the Laboratory for Inquiry into Valuation and Emotion (the LIVE Lab) and his research focuses on emotion as the cognition and consciousness of valuational representations of self and others in decision making. His work has an interactionist perspective that takes relationality as the central category for understanding the human mind and brain, especially in the connection of valuation, empathy, theory of mind, and ethical formation for virtuous autonomy. The LIVE Lab uses mixed methods including long-form interviews, computational linguistics, cognitive computational modeling of choice, fMRI, and EEG.  

He has received grant support from the National Science Foundation, the Center for Human Flourishing, the Templeton Religion Trust, the Fetzer Institute, the Mind and Life Institute, and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. His publications have over 2,700 citations. He co-edited the Companion to Religion & Science (Routledge) and Habits in Mind (Brill).  

Spezio also teaches data science and developed the first course on Data Science Ethics and Justice (DSEJ) at the Claremont Colleges, where he also directs a faculty development project in DSEJ. He is a recipient of the 2015 Paul H. Silverman Award from the Ethics Center at University of California Irvine for distinguished work in scientific approaches to ethics. He is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). 


CASIRAS is a supporting organization for the Zygon Center for Religion and Science in partnership with LSTC. It also supports Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science in partnership with the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science and the International Society for Science and Religion. Learn more at casiras.org 

About LSTC 

The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere. LSTC recognizes that our school stands on the lands of the Potawatomi, Miami, and Peoria peoples. For thousands of years before their forced removal, this was their traditional homeland, and it continues to hold their ancestral stories and wisdom. We honor and thank the elders of these and other nations, past and present. These lands are still home to many indigenous people, and we are grateful to learn in this place. To learn more visit www.lstc.edu


David Glover 

Administrative Assistant, CASIRAS 


Jan Boden 

Public Relations Manager