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Artificial Intelligence and Religion Seminar

Call for Proposals

Scholars of religion and theology add a crucial voice to the ethics of artificial intelligence. We seek papers that address ethical questions associated with artificial intelligence and religion. What should be the ethical limits and concerns of an artificial intelligence both now and in the future? What can religion offer to the construction of an artificial intelligence ethics? What contribution can Religious Studies make to the issue of A.I. Safety? What pitfalls might religion expose? How can A.I. be an ally or enemy in the realms of healthcare, eco-justice, social justice, or authoritarianism? Likewise, given that A.I. might impact specific populations differently, what might religious studies have to say about the ethics of AI from a racialized, gendered, sexed, and/or a differently-abled perspective? We welcome original papers that pose new questions.

Additionally, we seek proposals that show experiments using artificial intelligence in the study of religion. Scholars that are finding new applications for A.I. are encouraged to submit an abstract proposal even if their project is on-going. Follow-up reports on projects already presented are likewise welcome.

Please note that this paper 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 2021.

Statement of Purpose

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is a topic with widespread cultural impact. It is likewise becoming increasingly relevant to religion. Several attempts at using A.I. to understand biblical texts or to model religious practices have yielded fascinating results. But A. I. increasingly is becoming part of the lives of religious people from home A.I. devices, to the application of A.I. by religious groups and organizations, to the prospect of a future superintelligent A.I. that may pose existential threats to humanity or provide solutions to seemingly insoluble problems. Artificial Intelligence is a topic that will increasingly impact religion and religious people as well as individuals who find spirituality in places that are intersecting with digitalization, including popular culture sites such as sport, and music. Changes may be coming from widespread unemployment to the virtual elimination of death itself. These are issues within the purview of Religious Studies and Theology that require systematic analysis.

This the seminar deals with the application and analysis of Narrow A.I. as well as the potential of General A.I. We seek scholars interested in experimental applications of artificial intelligence to religious studies and theology as well as the analysis of current and future implications of A.I. for religion and spirituality. This unit is a resource for engaging the importance and relevance of A.I. as it intersects with religion, theology, and spirituality. We seek to contribute to the larger cultural and multidisciplinary discussion about these issues as A.I develops.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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