IU consortium creates new seminar series on religion and ethics

Seminars to address Islam, environment, economic justice and more

  • Jan. 24, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society at Indiana University has launched its inaugural round of Religion and Ethics Seminars, a yearlong series of faculty-led seminars taking place on a number of IU campuses.

The Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society, founded in 2013, is an interdisciplinary group of scholars, academic programs and research centers from all eight Indiana University campuses.

The consortium's goal is to connect faculty, incubate research and creative activity, and promote awareness of IU scholarship in areas relating to religion, ethics and values.

The new seminar series is an important new step in realizing the consortium's goal, said Brian Steensland, director of the consortium and professor of sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

"Within the Indiana University faculty, there is tremendous expertise on topics relating to religion, ethics and values," Steensland. said "We have world-renowned scholars, but they are spread across fields and campuses. The Religion and Ethics Seminars program is a big step bringing these minds together.

"We received interest from faculty on numerous campuses and representing a variety of disciplines and professional areas, including medicine, law and business in addition to fields across the humanities and sciences," Steensland added.

The Religion and Ethics Seminar topics and their leaders are:

  • Religion, Spirituality, Healthcare and Ethics: Led by Amber Comer, Department of Health Sciences at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at IUPUI; and Alexia Torke, Department of Medicine at the IU School of Medicine. The first event in this seminar will be a talk by Wendy Cadge, Brandeis University, at noon March 9, titled "Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine."
  • Islam in the American Public Sphere: Led by Asma Afsaruddin, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the School of Global and International Studies at IU Bloomington; and Abdulkader Sinno, Department of Political Science and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the School of Global and International Studies at IU Bloomington.
  • Environmental Justice: Led by Gabriel Filippelli, Department of Earth Sciences at the School of Science at IUPUI; and Carlton M. Waterhouse, IU McKinney School of Law at IUPUI.
  • The Ethics, Values and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts: Led by Jason M. Kelly, Department of History at the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; and Pamela Napier, visual communication design program at Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI.
  • Economic Justice and Inclusive Markets -- The Ethics of Doing Business With the Poor: Led by Kelly R. Eskew, Kelley School of Business at IU Bloomington; and Philip T. Powell, Kelley School of Business Indianapolis.
  • Moral Thinking in Artworks of Economic Success and Economic Failure: Led by Stephen Buttes, Department of International Language and Culture Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and Andrew Kopec, Department of English and Linguistics at the College of Arts and Sciences at IPFW.

Each pair of faculty members will lead a seminar that meets six times over two consecutive semesters. Seminar meetings may include faculty workshops, public speakers, community events and faculty-student activities. Each seminar will set its own schedule. Details will be available through the consortium's website.

"The seminars can have different purposes," Steensland said. "Some are oriented toward public engagement. Others are oriented toward scholarly development and academic research. Some involve students, and others involve community partners. The mix of goals and activities matches the diverse ways in which religion and ethics impact society."

The consortium solicits proposals for seminars twice a year. Proposals for the next round of seminars, to begin in Fall 2017, are being accepted between March 1 and April 1.