Technology, Ethics, and the Future of Religious Education

REA Annual Meeting 2025

7-11 July, Online

Call for Proposals

In an era defined by rapid technological advancement, the landscape of education, including religious education, is undergoing profound transformation. Digital technology has not only revolutionized how we learn but has also sparked critical inquiries into the nature of humanity itself. As educators grapple with the integration of AI, virtual and augmented reality, and ubiquitous connectivity into pedagogical practices, fundamental questions arise: What distinguishes human intelligence from artificial intelligence? In what ways are community being redefined in this digital age? What defines the essence of human existence amidst the rise of robotics and automation?

These questions are not merely theoretical but deeply relevant to the mission of religious education. As stewards of moral and spiritual development, religious educators are uniquely positioned to explore the ethical dimensions of technological progress. How do digital tools enhance or hinder learner-centered approaches? How does technology redefine notions of community, solidarity, and religious identity? Moreover, amidst global crises and societal divisions amplified by digital platforms, what is God calling us to as educators and as a community of believers?

The pace of technological change challenges traditional academic cycles, necessitating dynamic dialogue and proactive engagement. From navigating the ethical implications of AI-driven decision-making to addressing the impact of cancel-culture and heightened user anxiety on human dignity, the intersection of technology and religious education demands rigorous exploration. How do we safeguard human values in a digital age? How can religious teachings provide moral clarity amidst the complexities of digital life?

We invite scholars, educators, theologians, and practitioners from diverse backgrounds to submit proposals that address these pressing issues at the intersection of technology and religious education.  Questions worth addressing include, but are not limited to:

  • How might we reimagine the human person and community in the digital era?
  • What are the ethical imperatives of digital literacy and education in and beyond the religious context?
  • How might religious teachings and histories mitigate the dehumanizing effects of high anxiety and cancel-culture? 
  • How might the thick teachings of our religious traditions respond to the challenges of AI and automation?
  • What is the  role of technology in (re)defining (or not) religiosity and spiritual practices?
  • How do we educate and mentor today’s and tomorrow’s youth in a digitally mediated world?
  • Are the religions exploring disability justice within their organizations and the potential of technology to transform the lives of many who are otherwise marginalized? 
  • One of the advantages of online REA Annual Meetings is the global connectedness and cross-cultural dialogue in religious education. Are there other ways to reinforce these goods within and across religious communities?
  • How do we define intelligence (especially religious intelligence?) in an age of artificial intelligence?
  • How might we adapt religious education’s methodologies and pedagogies to embrace digital natives?

We encourage submissions that offer critical perspectives, innovative strategies, and practical insights into these complex themes. Join us in shaping the future of religious education amidst the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

Program Chairs Annie Lockhart-Gilroy and Eileen Daily can be reached at rea2025 [at] religiouseducation [dot] net.

This call was written with ChatGPT.

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