PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Ethics Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This is an established Unit that has served scholars concerned in the field, others interested in the intersection of ethics, and other disciplines within the academy over an extended period of years. We believe it is inconceivable for any comprehensive study of religion to be undertaken without serious attention to the ethical teachings that are an integral part of every known religion. This Unit seeks to serve the AAR by providing a forum for the ethical interests and issues all religious traditions address. We provide the opportunity for intellectual and academic exchange through the discipline of ethics. We encourage younger scholars and work to have a diversity of perspectives and methodologies represented from various religious traditions.

Call for Papers: 

Aligned with the 2018 Conference AAR theme, our call for papers focuses on the responsibilities, civic duties, and risks facing scholars of religion in light of this current political climate, which is marked by racist, xenophobic, and classist policies and practices.

• Gentrification, Justice and Immigration Issues in Denver, CO and Other Cities
Papers that discuss historically Black and Latino communities that represent different religious and diasporic traditions that are being adversely affected by gentrification. In addition, co-present with gentrification are serious concerns about issues of labor and the conditions of workers in Denver and other cities

• Religious Ethics and Diverse Publics
Papers that re-imagine the purposes and tasks of intellectual/academic life and broader social engagement. Increasingly, there are persons working in various sectors beyond traditional academic tracks whose work creates knowledge and greater insights into social practices. This conversation would invite persons (independent scholars, cultural workers, tenured and untenured scholars associated with universities to help broaden the academy’s understanding of the many publics that need to be engaged).

• Ecological Ethics within Diverse Religious and Theological Traditions
Papers regarding themes such as ecowomanism, ecofeminism, gender and economic studies, Muslim feminist thought, etc.

• Ethics of Afro-Pessimism
Afro-pessimism has emerged as interpretive frame to address perennial and pernicious presence of American racism and for some scholars, regulates Blacks to the status of non-human. This discourse has significant implications for religion, ethics and society.

• Breaking White Supremacy
The Ethics Unit, the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Unit and the Liberal Theologies Unit invite papers that discuss Gary Dorrien’s 2017 book Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Social Gospel for a co-sponsored session at which Gary Dorrien will be a respondent. Papers might address such topics as the importance of Breaking White Supremacy in understanding the Black social gospel and continuing the work begun in Dorrien’s The New Abolition: W.E.B. DuBois and the Black Social Gospel (2015); the theological insights of the civil rights movement and the way those insights inform, critique, and are critiqued in contemporary settings by the Movement For Black Lives; the claim that the civil rights movement ultimately failed to break white supremacy, and the implications of that claim for communities working to break white supremacy today; and contribution of Breaking White Supremacy considered against the backdrop of Dorrien’s body of scholarly work. Liberal Theologies Unit will be handling this call.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee