Home Annual Meeting Call for Papers Groups Scriptural/ Contextual Ethics
January 2013

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Call for Proposals

This Group seeks individual papers or panel proposals dealing with the relationship between religious texts and ethics in any tradition. Papers may look at one or more particular textual passages, or may focus on a tradition's textual tradition more broadly. In the past, papers have taken up both particular ethical issues (slavery, war, economics) in religious texts and metaethical questions such as the use of religious texts in the political sphere. The main focus for the Group this year is religious texts, Civil Rights, and 1963 — marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary both of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and the famous March on Washington. This Group seeks to (re)consider the use of religious texts during the Civil Rights struggle in the United States. We seek papers not just on the employment of scripture by African-American Civil Rights leaders such as King, but also the use of religious texts by other parties both for and against the approach taken by the mainstream Civil Rights community. Such approaches might include Civil Rights allies such as progressive Jewish and Christian leaders, civil rights opponents such as those defending segregation, and more radical voices such as the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. The goal of this session, as with our Group as a whole, is both descriptive and normative; we seek papers that enhance understanding of the role of sacred scriptures in particular historical contexts as well as normative implications of such moments for religious communities today.


This Group integrates the study of scriptural teachings in their social/ethical context within the critical study of present social/ethical contexts. We seek insights from ethical disciplines for self-critical awareness of assumptions that influence scriptural interpretation and insights from scriptural disciplines for self-critical awareness in ethics.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposer names are anonymous to Chairs and Steering Committee members during review, but visible to Chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection.


Emily Filler
University of Virginia
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Elizabeth Phillips
Westcott House
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Method of Submission


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