photo of mosque ceiling with many windows, saying global and comparative approaches to religion, ethics, and political theory

This seminar will explore the overlapping intellectual goals of comparative religious ethics and global or comparatively oriented political theory, much of which is based in religious thinking about politics and justice.  These two fields are both combinations of descriptive and normative analysis, frequently drawing on religious as well as philosophical thinking about fundamental issues of human social order.



photo of aaron stalnakerAaron Dean Stalnaker; Religious Studies, IU Bloomington;



photo of Hussein BanaiHussein Banai; International Studies; IU Bloomington;




Upcoming Events



Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaarphoto of mohammad Tabaar

International Affairs, Texas A&M University


Thursday October 25th 4:00 PM

Bloomington campus, GISB building, Room 2067

Presentation on his newly finished book Religious Statecraft: The Politics of Islam in Iran


Co-hosted with the Islamic Studies Program, The Center for the Study of the Middle East, and the Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center


Aaron Stalnaker

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, IUB


Faculty Seminar on Professor Stalnaker's book manuscript in progress, "Mastery, Dependance, and the Ethics of Authority".

Friday April 20th 1:00-3:00 PM

IU Bloomington, GA Building, Room 1106

This book argues that early Confucian thinkers connect authority, dependence, and autonomy in ways that have the potential to transform contemporary debates. They argue that humans do not automatically possess moral and personal autonomy, but must develop and exercise these achievements with others’ help. They see autonomy as analogous to performance skills, i.e., as a set of trained capacities that must be cultivated through deliberate practice, with others, under the guidance of family members and master practitioners/teachers. Confucians claim many forms of relational dependence of this sort are intrinsic to human life, not signs of weakness or vice. In dialogue with contemporary feminist thought and liberal political theory, the book reconstructs early Confucians' sophisticated normative social theory in order to reshape current ideas about virtue, relationships, and the proper aims of politics.

The book manuscript, including six of a planned seven chapters, will be pre-circulated to those who plan to participate.



The Ethics of Human Rights   photo of anthony t chase

Anthony Tirado Chase

Diplomacy and World Affairs, Occidental College


Friday March 16th 1:00-2:30 PM

Bloomington Campus, Global Affairs Building, Room 1023

Professor Chase is a theoretician of human rights, most often in the context of the Middle East. His current projects include Handbook on Human Rights and the Middle East and North Africa (Routledge, 2017); “Setting the Scene: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Human Rights” in The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Engagements with Human Rights (U Penn Press, forthcoming); and a research project on interdisciplinary approaches to human rights theorizing.



Reading Group in Comparative Political Theory and Ethics


Friday February 23rd 1:00-2:30 PM

Bloomington Campus, Global Affairs Building, Room 1023