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Call Text:

Lessons Re-learned, Creating a Vision for the Future of Bioethics and Religion
The year 2020 brought many challenges, and new opportunities, to the field of bioethics and religious interpretations within the field. In accordance with the President’s theme for the 2021 Annual Meeting, the Bioethics and Religion Unit welcomes proposals that bring attention to “the multiple ways in which religion speaks to the economic and social conditions of the past as well as the present” in the contexts of healthcare treatments, healthcare delivery, decision making, public policy, lived experiences of vulnerable populations, and conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches in the interdisciplinary field of bioethics.

We invite proposals that engage a variety issues in the field, including but not limited to: a) the bodily autonomy and dignity of individuals or underrepresented or concealed social/religious groups; b) issues of moral benevolence or moral harm in a clinical setting; c) the distributive justice of biomedical and healthcare resources such as health education, experimental treatments, vaccines, and policies that expand the healthcare workforce; and/or d) bioethical issues within mental health and spiritual care for patients, families, and the healthcare workforce.

Faith in a Time of Covid-19: Religion & Public Health
Co-sponsored Session with Religions, Medicine, and Healing Unit,  African Religions Unit, Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit; and Bioethics Unit
This panel invites papers that consider religious communities’ responses to public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, including restrictions on religious gatherings, mask wearing, and vaccine compliance. With attention to the history of medical racism and religious persecution, papers may also explore various communities’ experience of health disparities and access to healthcare. We especially welcome proposals addressing these issues from Africana and other Indigenous religious perspectives in co-sponsorship with the
African Religions Unit and the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit.

Co-sponsorship session with Religion and Disability Study Unit
Disability theory or disability experiences bearing on ethical concerns regarding healthcare, COVID-19, genetic therapy and counseling, transhumanism, or any other bioethical issue.

Mission Statement:

This Unit offers a unique venue within the AAR for addressing the intersections of religion, bioethics, and health/healthcare related matters. It encourages creative and scholarly examinations of these intersections, drawing on such disciplines as religious and philosophical ethical theory, theology, ethnography, clinical ethics, history, and law. It seeks to undertake this scholarly work by drawing on a variety of perspectives (e.g., Feminist/Womanist/Mujerista, cross-cultural, and interreligious) and to demonstrate the contributions that religious and ethical scholarship can offer to the critical exploration of contemporary bioethical issues.

Method of Submission:




Terri Laws, terrlaws@umich.edu

Hajung Lee, hjlee@pugetsound.edu


Steering Committee:

Curtis Baxter, cbaxter@aaas.org

Jeffrey P. Bishop, jeffrey.bishop@slu.edu

Amy Michelle DeBaets, Amy.debaets@gmail.com

Deepak Sarma, dxs163@case.edu

Devan Stahl, devanstahl@gmail.com

Wylin Dassie Wilson, wdwils06@gmail.com


Session Allotment: Tier 1 – Two 90-minute sessions

Next Review: 2021