You are here

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:

  • How do texts that are read diligently by communities but not necessarily considered "sacred" come to be central in these communities? What role do these texts play in in the ethical thought and practice of these communities?
  • Taking a pedagogical turn, how to folks teach sacred texts and ethics as part of broader sequences in the humanities in the context of liberal arts education.
  • How does our national discourse intersect with new adaptations of sacred texts? Given the recent desecration of national political and historical artifacts at our nation's capital on 6 January 2021, we are interested in papers that explore the role of scripture and its interpretation to exploit racial, social, political, and ideological divisions in our current context.
  • Following a successful 2019 panel around our perennial call for papers on sacred texts and material culture, we are interested in sponsoring a related session in 2021 on ethics and the production of physical copies of sacred text, We welcome proposals around the following topics:
    • labor practices connected to the physical production of sacred texts
    • natural resources and the production of sacred texts
    • sacred texts and global distribution
    • other related topics
  • The relationship between different textual genres (narrative, legal, poetry, letters, etc.) and religious ethics.

Statement of Purpose


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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