CfP: Religion and Ethics of Violence

Morten Oxenboell's picture
Call for Papers
March 27, 2020 to March 28, 2020
Indiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
Islamic History / Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Peace History / Studies, Intellectual History

Network of Violence Studies at Indiana University invites paper proposals for a two-day seminar 

Religion and Ethics of Violence

On March 27-28, 2020 at Indiana University Bloomington

Deadline for abstracts: December 31, 2019. 

Seminar website:


Most religions and philosophical schools in world history have included strong admonitions against the exorcise of violence, but violent entrepreneurs – including religious leaders of otherwise peaceful religions – have had little trouble using ethics or religion to legitimize or even encourage certain acts of extreme violence. Collective violence always calls for a certain degree of legitimization and righteous ideology, perhaps most famously seen in the concept of Just War. Even the most atrocious acts of violence have thus been committed with at least a nominal claim of being “for a greater good,” or alternatively, a “lesser evil.”  

The purpose of the seminar is to create a dialogue between scholars from different disciplines and areas about cross-cultural and culture-specific ideas of “ethical” and “appropriate violence.” Through the seminar we hope to explore possibilities of future collaborations across disciplines for the study of the relations between ethics and violence. 


Keynote speakers will be: 

William Cavanaugh, Professor of Catholic Studies at DePaul University and author of The Myth of Religious Violence.

Jimmy Yu, Sheng Yen Associate Professor of Chinese Buddhism at Florida State University and author of Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700


Please send abstracts (not more than 200 words) or inquiries to organizer Morten Oxenboell (

The seminar is funded by Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society, Indiana University

Contact Info: 

Morten Oxenboell

Associate Professor in Japanese History, EALC

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of History

Contact Email: