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Sacred Texts and Ethics Unit

Call for Proposals

The Sacred Texts and Ethics Unit invites proposals from scholars and/or activists that closely analyze the use of sacred and foundational religious texts, including commentaries, in ethical or political discourse (either contemporary or historical). We welcome individual papers and panel proposals from all religious traditions and methodologies, including constructive ethical reflection with a textual basis. 

Proposals on all topics are welcome. We are particularly interested in the following topics:

  • In conversation with the presidential theme, how do scholars of religion and theology approach the study of ethical concerns through sacred texts differently? What assumptions and approaches do they share?
  • How do political or protest movements (contemporary or historical), from any tradition, employ scripture to make their case?
  • Taking a pedagogical turn, what are some best practices and innovative approaches to teaching sacred texts and ethics as part of broader sequences in the humanities?

We are also planning a roundtable on the ethics of scholarly labor. 

  • How might scholars of sacred texts and ethics leverage media beyond the usual scholarly monographs and articles to reach a wider audience? 
  • Do scholars of sacred texts and ethics have a moral obligation to share their scholarly labor with practitioners? 
  • How should our scholarship be informed by conversations with practitioners in communities where we or our texts belong?

If you are interested in contributing to the roundtable, please reach out to the co-chairs: R. Brian Siebeking ( and Raissa von Doetinchem de Rande (

Statement of Purpose

The Sacred Texts and Ethics Unit invites scholars and activists across the disciplines to critically consider (or re-consider) the complex and enduring role of scriptural and foundational religious texts in the contemporary world as well as historically, and to theorize the roles these texts play in ethical reflection, lived religious practice, and political debate.


Steering Committee Members





Review Process

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