New Religion & Ethics Seminars coming spring and fall of 2018

The IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CRES) was pleased to announce two new Religion and Ethics Seminars to run next year, along with three current seminars that have been selected for renewal in 2018. Details and further information can be found on the CRES website.

Economic Justice: The Ethics of Doing Business with the Poor (renewed)

Islam in the Global Sphere (renewed; previously Islam in the American Public Sphere)

The Ethics, Values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts (renewed)


Global and Comparative Approaches to Religion, Ethics, and Political Theory will explore the overlapping intellectual goals of comparative religious ethics and global or comparatively oriented political theory, much of which is based in religious thinking about politics and justice. These two fields are both combinations of descriptive and normative analysis, frequently drawing on religious as well as philosophical thinking about fundamental issues of human social order.

The seminar will be led by Aaron Dean Stalnaker, Professor of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, IU-Bloomington; and Hussein Banai, Professor of International Studies, School of Global International Studies, IU-Bloomington.


Mounds of the Midwest investigates how religious ideas have shaped attitudes to the natural environment by focusing on the Mounds of the Midwest. It will examine the meanings and burial practices of the early Native American peoples, highlight the history of these indigenous groups, and explore the multiple meanings of the Mounds today as revealed in contemporary governmental policies and the American public educational system. The goal is to create critical conversation around environmental ethics and the complex intersections of state power and religion.

The seminar will be led by Charmayne Champion-Shaw, Professor of Native American Indigenous Studies, School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI; and Kelly Hayes, Professor of Religious Studies, School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI.

Applications open for Young Scholars in American Religion program

Young Scholars in American Religion will include a series of seminars devoted to the enhancement of teaching and research. The aims of all sessions of the program are to develop ideas and methods of instruction in a supportive workshop environment, to stimulate scholarly research and writing, and to create a community of scholars that will continue into the future.

Please click here to apply.

Scholars eligible to apply are those working in a subfield of the area of religion in North America, broadly understood, who have a terminal degree in hand, a full-time academic position, and have launched their careers within the last seven years. Scholars are selected with the understanding that they will commit to the program for all seminar dates. Participants are expected to produce two course syllabi, with justification of teaching approach, and a publishable research article over the course of their seminars.

IUPUI’s Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture also has a new website at

The Key Limitation and Danger of the Electronic Health Record

Dr. Alice Dreger

Please join the IU Center for Bioethics for a special seminar on Electronic Health Records by Alice Dreger, Ph.D., author of Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science. The seminar discusses a key limitation and danger of the electronic health record (EHR), “In Which Winnie the Pooh Teaches Us Something Important about the EHR’s Central Lesion.”

The seminar will take place in the Glick Eye Institute, Room 103, on June 6 at 2pm.

The electronic health record (EHR) holds the potential to be a fantastic technology in many ways. It promises better patient access to records, the ability to look more systematically for risk before harm happens, a way for health care professionals to more accurately track patients longitudinally, and a means to kinds of medical research we could never do before. But the EHR also has the potential to obscure the importance of cohesive narrative in patients’ lives.

This talk uses A.A. Milne’s story of Owl’s house being blown down, along with research from clinical psychology, cross-cultural anthropology, and evolutionary biology, to suggest that, unless we think about the great big narrative holes the EHR is leaving in patients’ lives, we may not be healing people as well as we could. Drawing on her experiences as an historian of medicine and science—including as one who has composed short, private, client-centered medical histories for victims of iatrogenic trauma—the speaker will suggest that the macrohistory of science and medicine that helps us understand the power of the EHR also compels us to consider the need for a micro history of medicine that makes up for one of the EHR’s worst unintended consequences.

IUPUI Secular Humanism Studies Speaker Series tackles complex topics this month

The IUPUI Secular Humanism Speaker Series kicks off tonight, April 13, with the University of Iowa’s Dr. Evan Fales‘s discussion of “The ‘Right to Believe’ and Bible-based Public Policy.” The next installment of the series will be the following week on April 20, when Purdue University’s Dr. Paul Draper will talk about “How to Argue for Atheism.” For the final engagement, the University of Toledo’s Dr. Jeanine Diller will discuss “Global and Local Atheisms: What the Multitude of Ideas of God Means for Atheism.” 

Each event will take place at the IUPUI University Tower, The Presidents’ Room (2nd floor), 875 W North Street, and begin at 6:30pm. Parking is available for a fee in the North Street Parking Garage, 819 W North Street. A campus map is available here.

This series is presented by the IUPUI Department of Philosophy and the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. If you have any questions or would like to request additional information on this series, please email

God Around the Edges?: Wendy Cage

Dr. Wendy Cadge

On Friday, March 10, from 10-11:30a.m., Wendy Cadge of the Brandeis University departments of sociology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, will present her talk, “God Around the Edges? Moral Frameworks in times of Crisis.” This discussion will take place in the IUPUI Campus Center Room 406.

Wendy will discuss her book-in-progress on religion and spirituality in public places and institutions: deep-sea ports, container ships, airports, halls of Congress. Wendy is an ethnographer who studies the intersections of religion with immigration, sexuality, and health care.

This talk is hosted by the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society.

Lunch and Learn Lectures: Kraig Beyerlein

Dr. Kraig Beyerlein

Micro-Contextual Effects of Congregations on U.S. Residents’ Civic Activity

On Wednesday, March 8, from 3-4:30 p.m., Kraig Beyerlein of the University of Notre Dame’s sociology department will present on Social Justice in the Desert: Faith-Based Mobilizing to Save Lives Along the Arizona-Sonora Border. This talk will take place in Campus Center Room 305.

Through the course of the talk, Kraig will discuss his book-in-progress on the sanctuary movement in Arizona, a movement among religious congregations to provide safe haven for undocumented border crossers from Central America. Kraig is a scholar of social movements, religion, and civic engagement.

Turns out, who your neighbors are matters. Scholars have long looked at faith communities broadly as important predictors of giving, volunteering, and other forms of civic activity, but local contexts are underexplored.

By examining the density of congregations in small geographic areas, Beyerlein can make claims about the significance of congregations in promoting volunteerism and political activism. He considers the number of activities, amount of time, or types of activity with which residents are involved.

Using emerging geo-coding methodologies in the social sciences, Beyerlein’s approach and findings break new ground in the study of faith communities, philanthropy, and civic engagement.

This talk is hosted by the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society and the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving. Seating for the event is limited, so please register here.

IUPUI Steward Speakers Series features Eric Holder, former attorney general

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Former Attorney General Eric Holder is the next guest of the IUPUI Steward Speakers Series. He will speak March 2 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Campus Center.

Eric H. Holder Jr. was sworn in as the 82nd attorney general of the United States on Feb. 3, 2009, by Vice President Joe Biden. Then-President-elect Barack Obama had announced his intention to nominate Holder on Dec. 1, 2008. In 1997, Holder was named by President Bill Clinton to be the deputy attorney general, the first African American named to that post. Prior to that, he served as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

In 1988, Holder was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to become an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Holder, a native of New York City, attended public schools there, graduating from Stuyvesant High School, where he earned a Regents Scholarship. He attended Columbia College, majored in American history and graduated in 1973. He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1976.

Sabbatical Speaker Series features Dr. Susan Shepherd

Dr. Susan Shepherd

Join the IU School of Liberal Arts in a discussion, “We Are Here! Counteracting Stigma in the Kenyan Deaf Community,” led by Susan Shepherd for the Sabbatical Speaker Series on Friday, March 3, at 4:30 p.m. in Campus Center 405.

Deaf individuals in Kenya are marginalized and denied their basic human rights. How do traditional beliefs affect attitudes, and how can this be addressed? Activist research addresses counteracting stigma and issues of empowerment, identity and access to education, health care and employment in the Kenyan deaf community.

Spring Seminars in Medical Humanities and Health Studies

The Medical Humanities and Health Studies Programs prepare undergraduates to understand the broader role and determinants of health and medicine in today’s world. These seminars, which are open to all, cover various topics that are exceedingly relevant in today’s world.

The first is Paul Helft’s discussion of “Prognosis Related Communication and End of Life Care Outcomes in Advanced Cancer” and will be held in CE 309 on Wednesday, February 15th. The second is Sharra Vostral’s talk on “Testing Tampons: Toxic Shock Syndrome, Feminist Advocates, and Absorbency Standards” and will be held in CE 307 on Wednesday, March 22nd. The final talk of the semester will be Zeynep Salih’s discussion of “Attending to Emotion by Verbalizing Empathy – A Core Physician Skill” and will take place in CE 307 on Tuesday, April 18th. All of the talks are held from noon to 1 pm.

Religion and Ethics Seminars: Call for Proposals

Brian Steensland, Director

The Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society is dedicated to connecting faculty, incubating research and creative activity, and promoting the awareness of IU scholarship in areas relating to religion, ethics, and values. The Consortium is pleased to announce a new initiative: The Religion and Ethics Seminars, a set of faculty-led, yearlong seminars on topics relating to religion, ethics, morality, and values. We invite proposals for seminars to run during the spring and fall semesters of 2017.

The Religion and Ethics Seminars

Key Elements

  • There will be multiple topical seminars running concurrently within the IU system.
  • Each seminar is co-led by two IU faculty members from different departments, units, or campuses. Seminar participants may include other faculty members, students, or community members. They are intended to be interdisciplinary.
  • Each seminar addresses a topic of shared concern related to religion, ethics, or values. Examples might include religion and medical decision-making, environmental ethics and local action, Islam in the public sphere, global business ethics, art and the public good, legal ethics, faith communities and urban engagement, the moral obligations of the public university, or ethical dilemmas of information technologies.
  • Seminars meet six times over two concurrent semesters (fall/spring or spring/fall)
  • Seminars may be organized toward objectives relating to research, collaboration, practical problem solving, creative activity, teaching, and/or public outreach. Proposals for a seminar should describe the topic, goals, activities, potential participants, and views of success. 


  • Each faculty co-leader receives $1000 in their research account to recognize their organizational contribution to the seminar. (Faculty co-leaders outside IU administrative systems, such as those at IPFW, will receive direct payments.)
  • Seminars receive a commitment of $2000 to cover operating expenses, including hospitality, support for outside speakers, and/or logistics. Receipts for expenses will be submitted for reimbursement.
  • Additional funding may be requested for specific activities.
  • Successful seminars will be eligible for renewal.


The application deadline for the Spring-Fall 2017 funding cycle is November 3, 2016. All efforts will be undertaken to make funding decisions within two weeks.  

Application Process

Proposals should include the following information:

  • Seminar title.
  • Faculty co-leaders. For each leader, include information about department, school, and campus along with a brief biographical sketch.
  • Seminar description. Describe the topic of the seminar, highlight how the topic is connected to religion and/or ethics, and how those connections will be engaged in the seminar.
  • Seminar activities and objectives. Describe the projected activities of the seminar and how those activities relate to the seminar’s larger objectives. (Note that the six seminar meetings need not all be of the same type.)
  • Seminar success. Describe how the success of the seminar will be evaluated in the eyes of the leaders.
  • Anticipated participants. For illustrative purposes, list some names and/or types of anticipated participants, including university-affiliated participants, community participants, and outside speakers/panelists, where relevant.

To apply, click herePlease direct questions to Brian Steensland, Director of the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society ( Additional information about the Consortium, including events and activities, can be found here.