CFP for Journal Special Issue on Religion and Bioethics

Dr Tyler Tate from Oregon Health and Science University, United States, and Dr. Hossein Godazgar from University of Warwick are editing the Research Topic of ‘Religion and Bioethics: A Sociological Perspective’ for the journal Frontiers in Sociology.  The call for papers and details are available here:

I would be grateful if you could also circulate this to researchers and/or practitioners who might be interested in the sociological study of the intersectionality between religion and bioethics.

Submission deadlines are 31 January 2022 (for Abstracts) and 04 July 2022 (for full manuscripts). Please note that we will pursue a thorough scientific peer-review process. We look forward to receiving your abstracts and full manuscripts.

About this Research Topic

Both ‘religion’ and ‘morality’ were central themes in sociology as practised by its pioneers in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. However, their central position as major fields of social scientific enquiry and attention has been lost over time. This Research Topic is an attempt to recover these traditional, long-forgotten, but vital, parts of sociology. In doing so, it focuses on the conceptual interrelationship between the meanings of ‘religion’ and ‘bioethics’ at the ‘first-order’, everyday ‘lay’ or ‘folk’ level in various social contexts across the world from countries of the ‘global north’ to those of the ‘global south’ and from so-called ‘Abrahamic religions’, i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to ‘non-Abrahamic religions’, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Sikhism and the so-called ‘indigenous religions’ of animism, naturalism and totemism.

This Research Topic presupposes that the meanings of both ‘religion’, as highlighted by Beckford (2003), and ‘bioethics’, as emphasised by Nietzsche (1990) and Charles Taylor (1985) in relation to the definition of ‘morality’, are by no means unitary, universal, fixed and homogenous. Their definitions change across various social contexts in time and space. As Steven Lukes (2010), referring to Hacking (1999), stresses in relation to ‘morality’, contingency, nominalism and externalism are essential components of both ‘religion’ and ‘bioethics’. Therefore, it would be fascinating to explore and understand how and to what extent the understandings of ‘religion’ (and its cognate terms, including ‘non-religion’) and ‘bioethics’ (in relation to themes such as cloning, abortion, organ transplantation and blood transfusion, sexual health and orientation, the value of life, death, killing and letting die) intersect each other in various social contexts.