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.
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Call for Proposals
Our call for papers focuses on the broad issue of the American Academy of Religion’s relevance to the work of religious ethics. In particular, we are interested in papers that explore how the AAR has helped shape the field of religious ethics and that identify new pathways for religious ethics to which the AAR may point.
Descriptions and Norms in Religious Ethics
This session invites papers that reflect upon descriptive and normative work in the study of religious ethics. How are descriptive and normative work related in religious ethics? How should they be? Does the study of religious ethics offer models or cautions for the relationships of descriptive and normative work in other fields of religious studies? Do these other fields harbor lessons for the relationships of descriptive and normative work in religious ethics?
Natural Science and Religious Ethics (co-sponsored session with the Science, Technology, and Religion Unit)
This session invites papers addressing the ethical significance of the natural sciences for religious traditions. Technological developments often pose obviously ethical questions for religious traditions. Do scientific developments (e.g. the Copernican revolution / evolution / Big Bang / plate tectonics) also pose ethical questions for religious traditions? If so, how? And do these scientifically induced questions differ in kind from the ethical questions that technological developments elicit?
The Ethics of Remembering and Commemorating the Mayflower
The session invites papers that address the moral questions that emerge as the city of Boston commemorates the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower and contact with the Wampanoag Nation. In particular, papers are invited that pursue ethical questions regarding historical erasure, legacies of colonization, indigenous sovereignty claims, and our contemporary “culture wars” around “Thanksgiving.”
Religious Studies, Ethics, and the Future of the Humanities
This session invites papers that address the significance of religious studies for emerging ethical questions across the humanities. This session invites papers that engage the relevance of religious studies as an inherently interdisciplinary field to provide new methodologies for addressing ethical questions.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Bryant, Courtney, Manhattan CollegeMember Since: 2019
Day, Keri, Princeton Theological SeminaryMember Since: 2019
Flores, Nichole, University of VirginiaMember Since: 2015
Jones, Melanie, Union Presbyterian SeminaryMember Since: 2016