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2021 Lifetime Achievement Award to honor Larry Rasmussen

This year the Society will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Larry Rasmussen, the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary.  While he served as president of the Society in 1990, he is perhaps best known to us for his Grawemeyer Award-winning monograph, Earth Community, Earth Ethics (1996), and his Nautilus Award-winning Earth Honoring Faith – Religious Ethics In a New Key (2014).  Through his books, essays, and leadership of the 10-year collaborative project Earth-Honoring Faith, Rasmussen argued influentially for an ecological ethic that considers the well-being of all creation.  In addition to his leadership of the SCE, he was a member of the Science, Ethics, and Religion Advisory Committee of the AAAS and served as co-chair of the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Commission for the World Council of Churches.  This year’s recipient was selected from members’ nominations by the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee:  Patricia Beattie Jung (Chair), along with M.T. Davila, Bryan Massingale, and Christiana Zenner.  Their recommendation was unanimously endorsed by the Executive Committee of the Board.  The 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Committee will consist of Jennifer Herdt (Past President) [email protected], along with outgoing Board members: Ruben Rosario-Rodriguez [email protected], Aana Marie Vigen [email protected], Darlene Weaver [email protected].  

Election of New Leaders for the SCE

At Sunday’s Business Meeting several matters of import to the Society will be discussed and voted upon. Most importantly, members will be electing our future leaders. The Nominating Committee, chaired by Darlene Weaver, has brought forward for our consideration a wonderful slate of candidates: Steve Long and Sharon Tan have agreed to stand for Vice-President; Joe Blosser, Victor Carmona, Agnes Chiu, Karen Guth, Aline Kalbian, and Eboni Marshall Turman are each willing to serve if elected on our Board of Directors; Nathan Hershberger and Nelly Wambui are candidates for the open student seat on the Board. You can find out more about each of these candidates on the SCE websiteNote that you must attend the Business Meeting in order to vote. 

Bylaws Change

We will also be voting on a minor bylaws change at the Business Meeting, in order to bring our bylaws into alignment with the longstanding actual practice of the Society with regard to the membership cycle.  Information concerning the motion to change the bylaws is available here

Reminder - Call for Applications: Co-Editors of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Call for Applications: Co-Editors of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

The Society of Christian Ethics seeks a two-person team or individual applicants to serve as Co-Editors of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics for a five-year term, from January 2022-January 2027.

The search for the next Co-Editors of the JSCE is now open. Members are invited to consider serving the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE) in this important capacity. Among other professional benefits, Co-Editors of the JSCE receive an annual stipend from the SCE as well as travel and lodging for the January Annual Meeting and Spring Program Committee Meeting.

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Integrity of Creation Conference at Duquesne University

Integrity of Creation Conference at Duquesne University

Click here to view the flier for the annual Integrity of Creation Conference, Sep.29-30, 2020.   The theme for this year is Building a Sustainable World. Due to Covid-19, the conference is virtual via zoom. Please visit the conference website for the schedule of events and for the zoom links,

Now Accepting Nominations for Global Scholars for 2022

Now Accepting Nominations for Global Scholars for the 2022 Annual Meeting in Costa Mesa, California

Our Global Scholars Program is one of the important strategic initiatives of the Society of Christian Ethics.  Any member of the SCE, or group of members, may propose a non-member, international scholar to the International Scholarly Relations Committee (ISRC) for review as a candidate for the SCE Global Scholar Award.  The SCE particularly encourages members to propose scholars from the global south. If selected by the ISRC, the SCE will waive the selected recipient’s registration fee and will cover coach airfare, hotel costs (single occupancy, three nights), and a stipend of $250 (for ground transportation, meals, or incidentals during the meeting)—provided the total cost does not exceed $4,000. (This money is drawn from donations designated for this purpose.)  Please note that the Society does not and will not apply for or pay for visas.  The Executive Director will, however, willingly issue a formal letter of invitation to support the scholar’s visa application.

Proposals from member sponsors are due October 16, 2020. They should be sent to our Executive Director Andrea Taylor, at [email protected]. She will collate the nominations and forward them to the current chair of the IRSC, Christine Pohl, for that committee’s consideration. Please put 2022 Global Scholar Nomination in the subject line of your email.

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Statement of Anti-racist Commitment from the SCE Cabinet

The Society of Christian Ethics exists to promote scholarly research in the field of Christian Ethics.  At the same time, that scholarship, and the lives of the members of the Society, are not cut off from the world.  The present moment is one in which we, the members of the Cabinet of the SCE, feel conscience-bound to speak up.  No one should remain silent in the face of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others.  No one—least of all scholars of Christian ethics, scholars of a tradition formed in discipleship to One crucified for his willingness to stand in solidarity with the most marginal and oppressed. We cannot remain silent in the face of police brutality that continues unabated despite year after year of protests in the streets.  And we cannot remain silent in the face the structural injustices that have rendered so many of our Black brothers and sisters, together with other people of color, disproportionately vulnerable to COVID-19, that condemn so many to low-wage jobs, food deserts, elevated air pollution levels, and tainted water.  Many in our Society have experienced these injustices and outrages in their own bodies, have experienced what it is like to be stopped for Jogging While Black, Driving While Black, Breathing While Black.  Many more in our Society have lived lives of White Privilege, able to ignore or step away from these realities.  In this present moment of crisis, we feel called publicly to denounce the structural injustices that are built into the fabric of our society, and commit ourselves anew to lives of active anti-racism.  We the members of the SCE Cabinet:

  • Demand justice for the brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and  many others
  • Affirm the clear ethical truth that Black Lives Matter
  • Condemn the scandalous appropriation of the Bible and church buildings by the President of the United States
  • Protest the unconstitutional use and threat of military action against citizens of the United States engaged in lawful assembly
  • Call on our leaders to embody by their actions and words a civil respect for all people
  • Pray that our country may be safe for all, in particular for those who have lived in fear for too long because we have not attended to injustices against them.

Jennifer Herdt, President

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Charles Wood: Rest in Piece

A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity, profound faith, and devotion to and love of others, Charles Converse West passed away peacefully on November 10, 2019 at age 98, fully prepared for what is both his greatest challenge and his greatest reward.

"As a student in late 1930s in New York, Charles wrestled profoundly to find a personal faith that could give both meaning and energy to his own life, and found it in an apprehension of grace as the reality which not only inspires but goes before and beyond all our human endeavors. As a young Presbyterian missionary and teacher in China in the immediate aftermath of World War II, he experienced first hand the upheavals wrought by the collapse of the old feudal nationalism of that country and the Communist revolution led by Mao-Tse Dong. Soon after, he chose to live in a Europe of bombed cities and disillusioned peoples, now rigidly divided between the West and the Soviet-dominated communist East. In Berlin, he came to know pastors and theologians who had known the cost of witnessing for peace and justice under Nazism, including some who had been taught by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and were now seeking to transmit his challenging theology in a Germany and Europe under reconstruction. In turn, he worked for the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva and became part of that gifted team led by W. A. Visser't Hooft, first general secretary of the WCC, and including creative figures like Hendrik Kraemer, Suzanne de Diétrich and Charles' fellow-American, Paul Abrecht, pioneers of the new ecumenical way of relating the biblical faith to the realities of the world, not least in matters of peace, racial justice, combating poverty and promoting justice amid rapid social and technological change." - (From the Foreword written by Keith Clements (Former General Secretary, Conference of European Churches) to the book, "Ecumenical Adventure" by Charles C. West; Pub. by Fortress Press, 2019)

He is survived by Ruth, his beloved wife of 75 years; his son, Glenn and his grandchildren, Russell and Caroline. He was predeceased by his sons, Russell and Walter. He will also be remembered by his colleagues, readers of his books, and the countless students from his decades as Stephen Colwell Professor of Christian Ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Nov. 22 to Nov. 24, 2019

Beth K. Haile: Rest In Peace

Beth K. Haile, 35, died November 6, 2019 in Waterloo, Iowa. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor several years ago. She was surrounded by her husband Scott, 4 children, and friends.

Beth taught in the Theology Department at Carroll College.  She was a valued colleague and gifted teacher who left an indelible imprint on her students.  Many describe her moral theology course as their favorite class. Up until shortly before her death, she retained the qualities that made her special to so many: generous, humorous, thoughtful, insightful, and opinionated (in the best kind of manner).  She will be missed by many.

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G. Simon Harak, SJ: Rest in Peace

G. Simon Harak SJ (born 1948, died November 4, 2019) was an American peace activist and professor of theology and Director of the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University.

From 2003 to January 2007, Harak served as the Anti-Militarism Coordinator of the National Office of the War Resisters League. He also helped found Voices in the Wilderness, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Harak was named "Metro New York Peacemaker of the Year" and "National Peacemaker of the Year" by Pax Christi Metro New York and Pax Christi Long Island in 2005.

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Chomingwen Pond: Rest in Peace

Rev. Dr. Chomingwen Pond, age 91, of Minocqua, passed away on August 4, 2019. Rev. Pond was born in Madison, Wisconsin on September 1, 1927. She earned her bachelor’s degree in geology from Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin in 1950. She went on to Germany, where she took a post with the U.S. Army directing recreational programs for soldiers. It was then that she decided that she wanted to learn more about the Christian faith. She pursued a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Garrett Biblical Institute in 1961. While attending seminary, she spent a summer in Montgomery, Alabama, and became heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement. She earned her Ph.D. in religion from Claremont Graduate School in 1987.

Rev. Pond entered into ministry in 1962. She was the first woman to become ordained in full connection with elder’s orders in Wisconsin in 1964. She served inner-city and small-membership churches for approximately 15 years and taught at Payne Theological Seminary in Ohio. She later became a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries and served in Sierra Leone and in Zimbabwe at African University. During her years of missionary service at Africa University, she taught ethics in the Faculty of Theology. She retired from ministry in 1998.

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Rest in Peace: Gerard Mannion

The Berkley Center and Georgetown University mourn the loss of Gerard Mannion who passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, September 21. 

Mannion was a senior research fellow at the Berkley Center and the Joseph and Winifred Amaturo Chair in Catholic Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University. His work was dedicated to investigating the role of the church in the world and promoting ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

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2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Announced

Dr. Donald W. Shriver, Jr., former President of Union Theological Seminary, New York, and a past SCE President, will receive the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 annual meeting in Washington, D.C., January 10, 2020.

This year’s recipient was selected from members’ nominations by the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee: Cristina Traina (Chair), Outgoing Board Members: Angela Sims, Sharon Tan, and Reggie Williams. Their recommendation was unanimously endorsed by the Executive Committee of the Board. The 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Committee will consist of Patricia Beattie Jung (Past President) [email protected], along with outgoing Board members: MT Davila, [email protected]; Bryan Massingale, [email protected]; and Christiana Zenner, [email protected].