Call for Papers on Animal Ethics

The editors of The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning call for essays on the depiction of animals within the traditionally sacred texts of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  We imagine three different types of submissions.  First, what is the plain sense of passages that discuss animals within the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian scriptures?  In terms of practical reasoning, what are the most obvious implications of these texts for our treatment of animals today?  Second, what do the Abrahamic traditions teach about the animal-human relationship?  Do the teachings found within these three traditions comply with the plain sense of the passages that discuss animals?  If not, then what is the moral and theological significance of this disconnect between Scripture and tradition?  Third, what do the traditionally sacred texts and the Abrahamic traditions say about the ethical priority of animals over humans or humans over animals?  For instance, does St. Paul’s emphasis on the virtues of faith, hope, and love apply to humans only or to animals as well?  Does the disciplined and virtue-centered approach of Islamic moral reasoning apply to animal-human relationships as much as it applies to human-human relationships?  How do the debates within medieval Jewish philosophy, between human virtue and divine command theory, apply to actions toward animals?  (The submissions are not limited to this set of questions; this proposal is intended more to initiate reflective questions than limit what those questions are!)


Submissions ought to be 3,000 – 6,000 words in length; submissions should be double-spaced and include the following: bibliography, endnotes, and description of author.  Please submit your completed essays to Jacob.Goodson @ by December 31st, 2015.  If you have any questions about this CFP, please send your questions in an e-mail message to Jacob.Goodson @ and/or Simeon.Zahl @  Also, Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas is hosting a conference on this topic – and other related questions within the new field of “animal studies”; please write to Jacob Goodson if you have any questions concerning the conference.


The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning is an academic, on-line, peer-reviewed publication of the University of Virginia.  We employ a double-blind review process.  The description of the author will be removed for the purposes of review (please do not include signals of identity within the text or the endnotes).  The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning nurtures scholarly conversations between Jewish, Muslim, and Christian thinkers on the topics of hermeneutics, inter-faith dialogue, philosophical theology, religious ethics, and the significance of Scripture in the modern world.