The Ethics Unit seeks to serve the AAR by providing a forum for scholarly engagement with the ethical dimensions and interests of religious traditions.
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Call for Proposals
This year the Ethics Unit welcomes individual proposals, pre-arranged paper sessions, and roundtables on the following themes:
- Collective Action Problems and Religious Ethics
Given the contemporary expansion and intensification of myriad interdependencies and conflicts of interests, some of the most important opportunities and challenges for religious ethics now involve collective action problems--roughly, situations in which a group of individuals do not achieve possible outcomes they all prefer to outcomes that result from each individual acting in their own self-interest. We therefore invite proposals concerning collective action problems and religious ethics. How might religious ethics contribute to redressing collective action problems? How might these ethics exacerbate them? How should the escalation of collective problems affect religious ethics, if at all?
- Ethnography and Religious Ethics
While religious and theological ethics have often been conceived as normative disciplines, we hope to host a conversation that explores the roles of ethnography in religious ethics. For this conversation, the Unit is especially interested in proposals addressing ethnographic engagements with specific places and communities, and with the ways that race, gender, class, and sexuality affect religious identity and practice.
- Gentrification and Religious Ethics
The annual meeting’s location in Denver, Colorado calls our attention to the economic, social, and political challenges facing the host community and especially those on its margins. Denver's breathless population boom over recent decades has rapidly raised the cost of living in historically Black, Latinx, Asian/Asian-American, and immigrant neighborhoods across the city. Moreover, these patterns of displacement impact working class, service class, and poor communities in cities both large and small across the United States and beyond. The Ethics Unit seeks proposals that address ethical questions generated at the nexus of gentrification, ethics, and religion. How are religious communities, people, and practices fueling rampant gentrification? How are religious communities responding to rampant gentrification's various consequences? How can religious ethics facilitate understandings and evaluations of rampant gentrification?
What have we learned from the multiple US-led wars and combat operations that consumed the first two decades of the twenty-first century? The withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2021 closed a significant chapter that included the longest war in US history (Afghanistan), the most controversial war in the last 50 years (Iraq), and numerous other military operations around the world (Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and others). While the use of force continues in various parts of the world, we have yet to grapple fully with the moral lessons and legacies of the “war decades” in the early twenty-first century. This call seeks papers examining the religious, ethical, and political implications of these wars for the following: US foreign policy; the future of just war thought; military strategy and tactics; the moral injuries of veterans of these wars; the authorization of military force; and the future of the all-volunteer force.
- Michel Foucault and Religious Ethics
We invite individual proposals, pre-arranged paper sessions, and roundtables addressing what Foucault might mean by ethics and the ways that he connects or fails to connect ethics with religion. We are particularly interested in proposals examining how Foucault's notion of "care-of-the-self" may relate to, challenge, or enrich religious ethics.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Elizabeth Agnew Cochran, Duquesne University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Rebecca Epstein-Levi, Vanderbilt University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Terrence Johnson, Georgetown University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Jonathan Tran, Baylor University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027