Daniel Hinshaw, "Kenosis and the Mystery of Life"

Daniel Hinshaw

Daniel B. Hinshaw, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of Michigan, presents his research project, "Kenosis and the Mystery of Life," to an interdisciplinary group of scholars, artists, and scientists comprised of fellows, guest faculty, and students.

If you'd like to attend this event, please contact Carolyn Sherman at to confirm space availability.

Professor Hinshaw's earlier interests have included the basic mechanisms of cell injury and death with a focus on the contribution of the cytoskeleton to this process. More recently, his clinical research interests have focused on care at the end of life, spiritual and moral distress in advanced illness, and complementary therapies in the relief of pain and suffering. He is currently exploring the relationship between a central Christian theological concept—the voluntary kenosis or self-emptying of God in the incarnation of Christ—and the involuntary "kenosis" experienced by each human person through the process of aging, functional decline, and death. He seeks to demonstrate that this concept is directly relevant to our culture on multiple levels, including public policy debates over limited health care resources, as well as bringing meaning, value, and quality to individual human lives in the context of chronic illness, suffering, and death.

Professor Hinshaw is the author of more than eighty papers published in scientific journals and edited volumes. He is also the author of two books: Suffering and the Nature of Healing (2013) and Touch and the Healing of the World (2017), both by St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press. He has served as a member of the editorial boards of Free Radical Biology and Medicine and Progress in Palliative Care and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Surgical Palliative Care.

Professor Hinshaw’s research has been supported by grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. He has provided voluntary educational and clinical services in hospice programs in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Romania, where he is a visiting professor at Transylvania University in Brasov and teaches on suffering, culture, and spirituality at the end of life. He is a sessional professor of palliative care at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York and a visiting professor at the St. John of Damascus Theological Institute of the University of Balamand in Lebanon.