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Ethics Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

This year the Ethics Unit welcomes proposals on the following themes:

Tragedy and Religious Ethics

From its literary to its social, historical, and personal forms, tragedy poses a range of ethical and religious questions.  This session invites paper or paper session proposals that examine the ethical and religious significance of tragedy.  We welcome proposals that compare tragic, ethical, and religious interpretations of and / or responses to ruin and catastrophe, as well as proposals that explore tragedy as a genre of and / or stimulus to religious ethics.


Voices from the Margins about Gaza

After October 7, 2023, North American discourse was replete with opinions from Jews, Muslims, and evangelical and mainline Christians. These voices critiqued, defended, condemned, and mourned the war in Palestine. This session invites proposals about voices in religious ethics that have gone largely unheard in the North American context—religious minority groups, “non-Western” traditions, and other marginal or marginalized perspectives—and shed light on the violence and suffering in this region.


Technology as an Existential Threat

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from A.I. should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war.” So reads a statement signed last year by A.I. scientists, business leaders, and professors. As the statement suggests, this is not the first time humanity has worried about the existential threat posed by new technologies. How, as religious ethicists, can we provide context for the “risk of extinction” A.I. poses? We welcome proposals that examine episodes from history and/or insights from the history of religious ethics that provide a comparative lens on these concerns.


Holmes Rolston, Religious Ethics, and Theology

Holmes Rolston III’s work has been remarkably generative for the fields of environmental ethics and religion and science.  Yet despite its explicitly Christian motifs, this work has stimulated less interest among ethicists and scholars of religion outside these fields.  On this twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Rolston's Gifford lectures (Genes, Genesis, and God:  Values and their Origins in Natural and Human History), we invite proposals that interpret and evaluate the ethical and theological import of Rolston’s work, particularly from vantages besides environmental ethics and religion and science.

In response to the 2024 Annual Meeting Presidential Theme of Violence, Nonviolence, and the Margin, this year the Ethics Unit will also sponsor a prearranged papers session featuring invited panelists discussing Christophe Ringer’s recently published Necropolitics: The Religious Crisis of Mass Incarceration in America.

Statement of Purpose

The Ethics Unit seeks to serve the AAR by providing a forum for scholarly engagement with the ethical dimensions and implications of religious traditions.


Steering Committee Members


Review Process

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