Grappling with the Global Ethic: Multi-Religious Perspectives on Global Issues

Join us for a two-part conference—one academic, the other practical—tackling global social issues using the resources of numerous religious traditions and the signature document of the Parliament of the World's Religions, Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration, also known as the Global Ethic.

For the Academic Conference schedule, click here.

For the Interfaith Forum schedule, click here.

To read the Global Ethic, click here.

REGISTRATION for the conference and forum is is requested but not required. You may choose to attend one of these events and not the other.

Part 1:  Academic Conference              April 23: 9 AM – 5:30 PM  | April 24: 9 AM – 6:00 PM
The University of Chicago | Swift Hall, Third Floor Lecture Hall | 1025 E. 58th Street

Part 2:  Interfaith Forum                         April 25: 9 AM – 5:00 PM 
Chicago Theological Seminary | 1407 E 60th Street

Academic Conference: This academic conference brings together leading scholars of several faith traditions. Each presenter will explore a contemporary issue of social justice that is found in the context of his or her religious community. To this issue, he or she will bring to bear the unique ethical resources of his or her tradition as well as the moral directives of the signature document of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, “Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration,” also known as the Global Ethic. Members of the faculty from the University of Chicago will offer responses. 

Interfaith Forum: A day of practical break-out sessions that will take, for inspiration, the academic conference’s conversations about the Global Ethic and social issues (attendance at the conference is not required). Together, participants will identify one or more social-justice issues in the Chicago area of greatest concern and develop concrete, interfaith plans to address them. The Parliament of the World’s Religions will take up these ideas and bring participants together for future action. 

For more information, please contact the organizer of both events, Myriam Renaud: .

All programs are free and open to the public.

ACADEMIC CONFERENCE | Grappling with the Global Ethic: Multi-Religious Perspectives on Global Issues

Keynote Speaker: Sumner B. Twiss, Distinguished Professor of Human Rights, Ethics, and Religion, Florida State University 


          Samaneh Oladi Ghadikolaei, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University 
                    Respondent: Alireza Doostdar, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the Anthropology of Religion,
                                         University of Chicago


          Hille Haker, Richard A. McCormick, S.J. Chair of Catholic Moral Theology, Loyola University Chicago 

                    Respondent: Richard B. Miller, Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Religious Ethics, University of


Teresia_Hinga.jpg        Teresia Hinga, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University 

                  Respondent: Ralph A. Austen, Professor Emeritus of African History, African Studies, University of


Unknown_0.jpeg          Hsiao-Lan Hu, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, University of
                                   Detroit Mercy
                    Respondent: Paul Copp, Associate Professor in Chinese Religion and Thought, East Asian
                                           Languages & Civilizations, University of Chicago


Rosalyn LaPier.jpg          Rosalyn LaPier, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Montana 

                    Respondent: Sarah Fredericks, Assistant Professor of Environmental Ethics, University of Chicago


Amanda-Mbuvi4-683x1024_1.jpeg          Amanda Mbuvi, Assistant Professor of Religion, High Point University
                    Respondent: Jeffrey Stackert, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible; Interim Director of the Joyce Z.
                                        and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies, University of Chicago


Martin Nguyen.jpg          Martin Nguyen, Associate Professor of Islamic Religious Traditions; Faculty Chair for Diversity, Fairfield

                      Respondent: Franklin Lewis, Associate Professor of Persian Language & Literature; Chair of the
                                          Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, University of Chicago 


Scott-Paeth1-769x1024.jpg          Scott R. Paeth, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies, DePaul University

                    Respondent: Kristine A. Culp, Associate Professor of Theology; Dean of the Disciples Divinity House, 
                                         University of Chicago


Anantanand Rambachan.jpeg          Anantanand Rambachan, Professor of Religion, Philosophy and Asian Studies, Saint Olaf College

                    Respondent: Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions
                                         University of Chicago 


Huaiyu_Wang_2014.jpg          Huaiyu Wang, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Liberal Studies, Georgia College & State University

                    Respondent: Brook A. Ziporyn, Professor of Chinese Religion, Philosophy, and Comparative Thought,
                                       University of Chicago


William Schweiker, Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological ethics and Director of Graduate Studies, will moderate as well as offer a response and closing comments on Monday (April 23).

Keynote Speaker Sumner B. Twiss

Sumner B TwissSumner B. Twiss is the Distinguished Professor of Human Rights, Ethics, and Religion at Florida State University, where he holds a joint appointment between the Department of Religion and the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. He is also Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Brown University, where he served on the faculty for thirty years and as department chair for twelve. He is the co-author or co-editor of ten books (as well as a contributor to them), and the author of over seventy published articles in the areas of comparative religious ethics, biomedical ethics, philosophy of religion, global ethics, intercultural human rights, and the comparative study of just war.  He is former co-editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics (2001-2011) and the Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics (1995-2001), as well as former senior editor of the book series Advancing Human Rights (2003-2008). His most recent books are: Religion and Public Policy: Human Rights, Conflict, and Ethics (co-editor, with R. Petersen and M. Simion, and contributor; Cambridge University Press, 2015); Chinese Just War Ethics: Origin, Development, and Dissent (co-editor, with P.C. Lo, and co-author of three chapters; Routledge, U.K., 2015); and The Practices of Global Ethics: Historical Developments, Current Issues, and Future Prospects (co-author with F. Bird et al; Edinburgh University Press, 2016). His recent teaching and publications have focused on such topics as: Confucian moral and political thought; crimes against humanity and international criminal justice; the law and ethics of torture; religion, politics, and genocide; the history and ethics of humanitarian intervention.

  • The Parliament of the World’s Religions
  • The Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion
  • The Center for East Asian Studies (University of Chicago)
  • The Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies (University of Chicago)
  • A Center for Christian-Muslim Relations for Peace and Justice (Lutheran School of Theology)
  • The InterReligious Institute (Chicago Theological Seminary)

Persons with a disability who need an accommodation to attend this event, please call Sandra Peppers in advance: 773-702-8219.

Image: Creative Commons/Flickr. Credit: NASA. Midwestern U.S. at Night With Aurora Borealis (NASA, International Space Station, 09/29/11).