2020 Future of Christian Ethics

The 2020 Committee will explore the current status of, and future prospects for, the field of “Christian ethics” as a field of scholarship and teaching in the academy.  It will do so with an eye to reporting the findings of its inquiries, and communicating what recommendations may be derived therefrom, to the whole Society of Christian Ethics, in order better to inform and guide the actions of the Society, now and in years to come.

The Committee has two objectives.  First, it seeks to understand, using all possible evidence, the current state of the field of Christian ethics — in terms of its pedagogical, intellectual, and institutional presence in the academy; in terms of its vocation (both pedagogically and institutionally) in churches and ecclesial bodies; and in terms of its vocation in public life, conceived broadly.  Second, it seeks to use that understanding to offer tentative practical recommendations regarding how best to commit the resources of the Society to the present encouragement, and future cultivation, of the field of Christian ethics in the academy, for the churches, and amidst the public.

UPDATE: December, 2013

The 2020 Committee on the Future of Christian Ethics has completed a report that is the product of several years’ hard work on the part of the members of the committee. While the committee expects to revise this report one more time after this year’s SCE meeting, it merits the Society’s general attention now.  It will form the basis of the conversation during a session on Friday morning at the SCE annual conference in Seattle in January 2014.  I hope — and the committee hopes — that wide dissemination of the report will stimulate discussion, in that session and beyond. 

This report is meant to be a conversation-starter, not a final statement of the Society’s considered views.  The hard work of this committee provides the Society an opportunity for a renewal of our ongoing conversations about what Christian ethics is, what it ought to be, and how it could get from the former to the latter.  I hope — and the committee hopes — that many of you can attend the session in Seattle, and that the discussion this report is meant to provoke continues beyond the conference itself.

Attached is the report and responses to it.

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Miguel A. De La Torre's picture

Past President

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