Interest Groups

Members are encouraged to sign up to participate in the Interest Groups. If you are not currently subscribed to one in your Member Profile please email [email protected]. When viewing your profile you will see any Committees or Groups you are a part of under the My Features - Committees tab. If you would like to proposal a new interest group please review the guidelines.

Anglican Theological Ethics

Animal Ethics

Christian Ethics in Historical Context

Christianity and Prison Abolition

Climate Justice

Comparative Religious Ethics

Conflict, Nonviolence, Just Peace

Contemplative Ethics

Environmental Ethics and Theology

Ethics and Catholic Theology

Ethics and Law

Ethics and Political Economy

Ethics and Sexualities

Evangelical Ethics

Family and Social Responsibility

Fieldwork in Ethics

Future Scholars

Health Care Ethics

Interrupting White Privilege

LGBT and Queer Studies in Ethics

Liturgy and Ethics

Monetary Policy

Moral Theory and Christian Ethics

Neuroethics and Theology

Pedagogy

Protestant Perspectives on the Natural Law

Reformed Theology and Ethics (formerly Covenantal Ethics)

Restorative Justice

Scripture and Ethics

Technology Ethics

Anglican Theological Ethics

Conveners 
Victor Austin
Diocese of Dallas
[email protected]

Sarah Moses
University of Mississippi
[email protected] 

This Interest Group provides a forum for papers and conversations centering on the Anglican contribution to the field of Christian ethics or moral theology. Presentations and papers focus on historical and contemporary topics related to our general theme. Participants from all traditions who are interested in joining our discussion, or in offering a contribution, are most welcome. A subsidiary purpose of our group is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between persons who teach or work within Anglican ecclesial and educational institutions.

Animal Ethics

Conveners 
Grace Kao
Claremont School of Theology
[email protected]

Charles Camosy
Fordham University
[email protected] 

Animal studies (sometimes called human-animal studies) is steadily gaining traction in the academy as scholars of all stripes are no longer bracketing the “question of the animal” in their research. Theologians, philosophers, ethicists, and other scholars of religion are accordingly rethinking the place of nonhuman animals in their theorizing and in their communities as they reflect on the extent of human obligations to other animals, among other questions.

Officially launched in 2016 after an exploratory meeting in 2015, the Animal Ethics Interest Group is open to members of the SCE, SJE, and SSME and has been interreligious in orientation and scope from its inception.  We meet to share our work with one another in the growing fields of “animal ethics” and “animals and religion,” to enhance our opportunities for collaboration, and to increase the visibility of and knowledge about animal ethics across our three societies.

Christian Ethics in Historical Context

Convener
Jesse Couenhoven
Villanova University
[email protected]

When Faulker wrote that “the past is never dead; it’s not even past” he may have meant that we study history—of thought and of practice—because we need to understand ourselves better. We also study history to make ourselves better; we look to the past for ideas that have been lost, or are worth remembering. In a society drawn to novelty, looking back can be a salutary exercise. Yet it can also mislead, when it tempts us to nostalgia or eisegesis. How, then, can we fruitfully pursue ethics in its historical context—and what is the place of such endeavors in contemporary religious ethics?

Christianity and Prison Abolition

Conveners 
Vincent Lloyd
Villanova University
[email protected] 

Kathryn Getek Solis
Villanova University
[email protected]

Purpose:

The group aims to create a space for discussion of Christian-ethical approaches to incarceration broadly, and prison abolition in particular. No commitment to prison abolition is assumed.

Description:

The public scholarship of Michelle Alexander, Bryan Stevenson, and others has sparked a much-needed discussion of mass incarceration. Where once prisons seemed like a necessary part of life in the US, today they are viewed as a moral problem, even a moral abomination. Today, challenging the prison-industrial complex is broadly recognized as an imperative. However, the current popular discourse on “criminal justice reform” is too often framed as a pragmatic, policy issue rather than as a moral and, potentially, theological question. We aim to encourage a variety of critical approaches to incarceration that draw on traditions of Christian ethical reflection, including Black and womanist theology, Catholic social thought, social gospel, Latinx theology, and analytic approaches. We aim to create a space for discussing the implications of challenging incarceration at its roots, as those roots are entangled with race, class, gender, disability, and other issues. What would it look like to imagine, collectively, a world without prisons? With many Christian communities engaging with incarceration as a social justice issue, and with some Christian organizers (including those formerly incarcerated) promoting prison abolition, how can academic Christian ethicists learn from the communities most affected by incarceration – perhaps inviting us to think about the project of Christian ethics, as a whole, in new ways?

Climate Justice

Convener 
Daniel Scheid
Duquesne University
[email protected]

The Climate Justice Interest Group (CJIG) facilitates scholarly, pedagogical, and practical conversations and discernments at the intersections of climate change and justice, from the unique viewpoints and capabilities of our scholarly bodies. In the first year of our seven-year charter (2016--Toronto), the CJIG session was hosted by the SJE and focused on justifications for, and feasibility of, “conference sabbatical” concepts, which are gaining increasing attention in scholarly bodies around the United States and globally. Future years' meetings will continue this inquiry while also expanding to considerations of climate justice and race, as well as other topics.

All members of the SCE, SJE, and SSME are warmly invited to participate.

Topic sessions for future meetings will be discerned by CJIG members and acted upon by the leadership team.

Comparative Religions Ethics

Conveners 
Sumner Twiss
Florida State University
[email protected]

Bruce Grelle
California State University - Chico
[email protected]

The purpose of the Comparative Religious Ethics Interest Group is to encourage and facilitate the cross-cultural study of religion and morality within the SCE. The Group provides a forum for discussions of methodological, historical, and substantive issues in the comparative study of religious ethics, and it seeks to identify and develop resources for teaching in the fields of comparative ethics and world religions. Topic of this year's meeting to be announced.

Conflict, Violence, Just Peace

Conveners 
Eli McCarthy
Georgetown University
[email protected]

Daniel Cosacchi
Marywood University
[email protected]

Issues of war and peace have appeared prominently in the program, although the delineation of the issues has changed over the years, including presentations on both theoretical and policy/application topics. The perennial significance of issues of war and peace has taken on particular existential force.  The rise of what is called “4th generation” or asymmetrical warfare presents a challenging context for thinking about and teaching Christian approaches to both war and peace.

Contemplative Ethics

Conveners 
Tom Bushlack
University of St. Thomas
[email protected]

David Clairmont
University of Notre Dame
[email protected] 

Meditation and contemplative prayer can be forms of intellectual inquiry in themselves, providing a unique perspective from which to "do" the work of theological ethics. The Contemplative Ethics Interest Group will have as its main purpose to encourage the scholarly exploration of contemplative religious practices, the cross-cultural study of monasticism and other forms of intentional Christian community, and the historical and theological study of prayer and spirituality as resources for Christian ethics.

Environmental Ethics and Theology

Conveners 
Andy Smith
Penn State-Great Valley
[email protected]

Dawn Nothwehr
Catholic Theological Union
[email protected]

Laura Hartman
Roanoke College
[email protected]

The Interest Group on Environmental Ethics and Theology is grounded in the conviction that the environmental challenge raises critical issues of faith and ethics for theological education. Participants network together to exchange syllabi, circulate available resources, and cooperate in efforts to build a more concerted response to the ecological crisis.

Ethics and Catholic Theology

Conveners 
John Berkman
Regis College
[email protected]

Michael Baxter
University of Notre Dame
[email protected]

The purpose of this group is to organize sessions at the annual  meeting of the SCE that address important and timely topics in Catholic theology that have direct relevance to Christian ethics, and thus that are of interest to not only Catholics but all members of the Society.

Ethics and Law

Conveners 
Cathleen Kaveny
Boston College
[email protected] 

Jonathan Rothchild
Loyola Marymount University
[email protected]

The Ethics and Law Interest Group considers a wide range of interconnections between law and ethics, such as: theological and ethical assumptions that inform law; whether existing laws and court decisions are ethically justified; and whether laws or jurisprudential conventions should be changed.

Ethics and Political Economy

Convener
James Bailey
Duquesne University
[email protected]

This Interest Group meets annually to broaden and deepen our understanding of the interaction of ethics and economics. Our preferred procedure is to invite an outside scholar or practitioner (usually an economist from the local area of the SCE meeting) to speak on an agreed-upon topic and then to proceed with discussion of attendant descriptive and normative issues. This allows us to focus on a timely question and to engage with an economist or other expert whom most of us would otherwise know only through the written word.

Ethics and Sexualities

Convener
Robert Doyle
Loyola Marymount University
[email protected]

This group explores questions of sexuality and sexual relations/hips from both contemporary and historical perspectives.  It discusses sexuality-related issues in the context of pedagogy, religious traditions, and current movements.

Evangelical Ethics

Conveners 
Mary Veeneman
North Park University
[email protected]

Theo Boer
Protestant Theological University/Kampen Theological University
[email protected]

Christine Pohl
Asbury Theological Seminary
[email protected]

The goals of this Group are 1) to analyze evangelical contributions to Christian ethics, 2) to evaluate evangelical ethics in relation to other approaches, 3) to consider the ethical implications of evangelical theologies, 4) to bring ethical reflection to bear upon the evangelical subculture, and 5) to share approaches to teaching ethics in evangelical institutions.

Family and Social Responsibility

Conveners 
 Kari-Shane Davis Zimmerman
College of St. Benedict/St. John's University
[email protected]

Marcus Mescher
Xavier University
[email protected]

This group gathers members concerned with questions regarding both relationships internal to families, and those between families and the social order. Past agendas have included presentations and discussion on members' research, panels of representatives from church and public policy institutes concerned with children and families, and analyses of recent popular and scholarly publications concerning these issues.

Fieldwork in Ethics

Conveners
Sara Williams
Emory University
[email protected]

Michael Grigoni
Duke University
[email protected]

The purpose of the Fieldwork in Ethics Interest Group is to explore the methodological challenges of conducting qualitative fieldwork and discuss how Christian ethicists are currently incorporating  fieldwork and ethnography into the discipline of Christian ethics.

Future Scholars

Conveners
Melanie Jones
Chicago Theological Seminary
[email protected]om

Leonard Curry
Vanderbilt University
[email protected] 

The Future Scholars Interest Group seeks to provide a space for doctoral students to present their research to the Society of Christian Ethics and receive feedback from accomplished scholars in their professional guild. The Future Scholars Interest Group is open to any doctoral student member of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Health Care Ethics

Conveners
Gerald Winslow
Loma Linda University
[email protected] 

Joseph Kotva
Indiana University School of Medicine - South Bend
[email protected]

The Health Care Ethics Interest Group meets each year to discuss ethical concerns in the general area of health care. Previous topics include access to health care, assisted suicide, and the approach taken by different faith traditions to theological reflection on health care issues. The group is open to anyone interested in any of these areas. Formal papers are not presented in the interest group, and the group encourages a significant amount of verbal and materials exchange among attendees.

Interrupting White Privilege

Conveners 
Sarah Neeley
University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology
[email protected]

Julie Mavity Maddalena
Lakeland University
[email protected]

This group will gather members of the SCE and SJE who are actively interested in probing the dynamics of white privilege and white racism in their work and lives, countering those dynamics, and teaching for critical consciousness and active resistance to white privilege and white racism. 

LGBT and Queer Studies in Ethics

Conveners
Benae Beamon
Boston University
[email protected]

Brandy Daniels
University of Virginia
[email protected]

In the early to mid-twentieth century, religious ethical scholarship expressed a variety of sentiments concerning relationships between persons of the same sex. Various scholars declared that these relationships were not so much morally wrong as psychologically impossible. Contemporary ethical debate has shifted in light of the political struggles over the legalization of "gay marriage." Ethical discourses from the margins - including feminist, womanist, and liberationist ethics - have sought to define the conditions under which LGBT identities and relationships might be morally right, psychologically healthy, and socially constructive. What faith communities and religious scholarship can do to foster such conditions remains a complex issue with far-reaching implications. One of the central aims, then, of this interest group is to destabilize discourses in ethics by introducing queer concepts and methods to interrogate constructs of identity and sexuality.

Liturgy and Ethics

Conveners 
Brent Laytham
St. Mary's Seminary & University
[email protected]

Debra Dean Murphy
West Virginia Wesleyan College
[email protected]

Formed in response to growing interest in the role of worship in the Christian life, the Liturgy and Ethics group will provide a working forum for those interested in such questions as 1) embodied participation in worship and the formation of disciples, 2) sacraments and moral life (e.g., Eucharist, baptism), 3) the impact of cultural forces on congregational worship and moral action, historically, and presently 4) constructive theological work on worship’s proper relation to the moral life 5) connections between specific ethical questions (bioethics, ecological ethics, etc.) and liturgy.

Monetary Policy

Conveners 
Ilsup Ahn
North Park University
[email protected] 

Norman Faramelli
Boston University School of Theology
[email protected]

This Interest Group seeks to clarify the dynamics involved in the management of our little-understood money system, to recognize its pervasive, potent, destructive impact, to discern how its power could be redirected to bring extraordinary public benefit, and to explore possibilities for bringing to public awareness these extremely important, but currently neglected issues.

Moral Theory and Christian Ethics

Conveners
David Clairmont
University of Notre Dame 

[email protected] 

Per Sundman
Uppsala University
[email protected] 

There is a diversity of moral ideas and theories used in religious ethics. Whether in social ethics, theological ethics, comparative religious ethics, or applied ethics, ethicists from a broad spectrum of religious traditions and convictions all engage moral theories in one way or another. It is our conviction that many differences in views on particular moral issues are at least partly due to different understandings, critiques and affirmations of various moral theories. This interest group is designed to provide a place for sustained discussion dedicated to critical reflection on both classical and contemporary moral theories and on their use in religious ethics.

Neuroethics and Theology

Conveners
Neil Messer
University of Winchester
[email protected]

Patrick Smith
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
[email protected]

Purposes

  • To raise the profile of the field of neuroethics among SCE members, and encourage greater engagement by Christian ethicists with neuroethical issues and debates.
  • To provide a forum for the development and discussion of theological approaches to neuroethics.
  • To advocate for the importance of theology as a contributor to neuroethical discussion and debate.

Pedagogy

Conveners
Victor McCracken
Abilene Christian University 
[email protected]

Elizabeth Barre
Wake Forest University
[email protected]

This group provides a forum in which both newer and more experienced teachers/scholars can learn from one another about teaching religious ethics courses more effectively. The major goal of the session is to provide participants with ideas and practices that they can use in their own courses. As always, our conversation will include the exchange of pedagogical strategies relevant to the theme. You are invited to bring something to share: a syllabus, case, exercise, or teaching tip.

Protestant Perspectives on the Natural Law

Conveners
Neil Arner
University of Notre Dame 
[email protected]

Paul Martens
Baylor University
[email protected]

The Protestant Perspectives on the Natural Law interest group provides a forum for discussing how reflection on the natural law has been or should be regarded by those within Protestant traditions. These historical, critical, and normative conversations offer intellectual focus to an area of emerging scholarly interest. The group also serves as a venue for ecumenical exchange between Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christians on a topic of perennial theological interest.

Reformed Theology and Ethics (formerly Covenantal Ethics)

Conveners
David True
Wilson College
[email protected]

Timothy Beach-Verhey
St. Andrews University
[email protected]

The Reformed Theology and Ethics Interest Group fosters reflection and conversation on the work of ethics in a Reformed key.

Restorative Justice

Conveners
Elizabeth Bounds
Emory University
[email protected]

Amy Levad
University of St. Thomas
[email protected] 

This interest group on Restorative Justice will explore issues in this area that need the research and reflection of Christian ethicists, especially issues at the intersection of judicial criminal trials, forms of public truth-telling about atrocities undertaken by governments, and the restoration of political community in the wake of such atrocities. The group will share knowledge of significant work already being done in this area and will encourage members to consider addressing some of the pertinent issues in future SCE meetings.

Scripture and Ethics

Conveners
Craig Hovey
Ashland University
[email protected] 

Kyong-Jin Lee
Fuller Theological Seminary
[email protected]

This interest group explores issues of biblical authority and interpretation in relation to Christian ethics.

Technology Ethics

Conveners
Patrick Flanagan
St. John's University NY
[email protected]

Luis Vera
Mount St. Mary's University
[email protected]

Extraordinary developments in technology over the past thirty years have transformed human society in profound ways. This has complicated old moral debates and instigated a host of new ethical challenges. The Technology and Ethics Interest Group is designed to (1) provide a location for reflection on critical issues in technology ethics, (2) increase interest in technology ethics among the broader membership of the SCE, (3) increase awareness of the implications of new technologies for other areas of ethical inquiry (e.g., economic ethics, sexual ethics, questions of public discourse, etc.), and (4) explore ways in which distinctively Christian perspectives may contribute to public discourse on technological development.