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Artificial Intelligence and Religion Exploratory Session

Call for Proposals

Teaching Religious Studies in a post-chatGPT World: Precautions and Plans

With the advent of ChatGPT there is both opportunity and danger for faculty teaching religious studies and students learning about religious studies. If an A.I. can produce well-written texts that are indistinguishable from human work, how do we reconceptualize our pedagogies? Language is value-laden so as LLMs convey both biases and the stereotypes of our culture, how can a social justice perspective address this in the Religious Studies classroom? In keeping with this year’s conference theme, we welcome creative conversation about how religion and theology might provide a social justice-oriented lens through which to explore artificial intelligence in university education. We seek papers that explore the issues surrounding chatGPT (and other large language models) as well as pedagogical experiments that faculty may be doing in their classrooms either to incorporate or to combat Large Language models and their effects. 

Please note that this session uses the AAR full-papers program, in which papers are made available before the meeting. Accepted proposers should expect to produce article-length papers (4000-7000 words) that will be due by mid-October 2023.

Statement of Purpose

The study of religion and its interactions with culture has long been a crucial aspect of the humanities. As our world continues to evolve and change, it is more important than ever to understand the ways in which religion shapes and is shaped by the societies and cultures it exists within. One area of our society that is currently undergoing rapid development is artificial intelligence (A.I.). As A.I. technology advances, it is increasingly likely that it will have a significant impact on religion, theologies, and religious studies. For this reason, it is important for religious studies scholars/theologians to carefully consider the ways in which A.I. might affect and be affected by religious practices, beliefs, and communities. This exploratory session provides a forum for scholars to engage in critical and interdisciplinary discussions of the ways in which A.I. is impacting religion and religious studies, as well as the ways in which religious language and concepts are used in discussions of artificial intelligence. By bringing together experts from a wide range of disciplines, this exploratory session provides valuable insights into the complex and rapidly-evolving relationship between A.I. and religion.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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