The Interfaith Program on HIV and Social Justice at St. Paul’s University (Limuru, Kenya) and the Interfaith Health Program at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia USA) are inviting submissions that explore the implications of the theological concept of social justice in relation to HIV disease around the world today. We invite submissions in two general categories: 1) theological scholarship, and 2) materials for use in local religious communities.
Much of the moral reflection on HIV has been carried out in the framework of human rights. Some have framed this appeal to human rights to advocate for HIV programs as an effort to foist Western cultural norms on societies whose own values do not align with such perspectives, particularly in relation to gender and sexuality. While the Interfaith Program on HIV and Social Justice and the Interfaith Health Program support principles of human rights and affirm global health and development programs grounded in these principles, we also believe that religious traditions offer the possibility to find common ground across these divergent cultural contexts through theological reflections on the concept of social justice. This call for papers and materials is designed to create a body of writing that will be available to anyone with an interest in this topic; these materials will be uploaded through an open access website and various governmental, civil society, and faith-based partners will support this project by making these materials available across their respective networks.
As noted above, the materials should be focused on a theological exploration of the concept of social justice. Papers in the first category should develop a theologically sound and robust thesis that examines social justice in relation to any relevant aspect of the global HIV pandemic. Papers or materials in the second category should be accessible to lay members of religious communities and be adaptable for use in the religious education and practices of those communities. We are particularly interested in pieces that make a case for the importance of compassion for all people; universal health coverage; equity in treatment and services; and religious responses to stigma for those who are most at risk for infection globally, including young women, men who have sex with men, sex workers, and people who use drugs.
Submissions for category 1: While we accept pieces of any length, the program is focused on making available to religious scholars and students in theological or religious studies shorter scholarly writing (ca. 8-10 pp., double spaced) that reflects on the topic in various global contexts.
Submissions for category 2: This category is intentionally broad and we encourage submissions for use in any of the programs or activities of local religious communities. This would include (but is not limited to): sermon outlines, religious education materials (including study curricula), study of sacred texts, daily devotionals, programs for young people, pastoral care, personal narratives from people of faith living with or directly affected by HIV. We encourage submission both of written materials and of audio or video media as appropriate.
In both category 1 and 2, we are particularly interested in pieces that offer theological reflections from Sub-Saharan African religious, political, and cultural contexts with a preference given to authors who are part of those cultures. We also seek submissions from those directly affected by or living with HIV.
The deadline for the first round of materials is September 15, 2015 in preparation for the public launch of the program. Because the program is an ongoing multi-year initiative, we welcome submissions after this date as well. Please note that all submissions will receive a reply but that the directors of the Interfaith Program on HIV and Social Justice at St. Paul’s University and the Interfaith Health Program at Emory University will make the final determination on whether materials are accepted for publication. Authors should submit their materials to Professor Esther Mombo (Director of the Interfaith Program on HIV and Social Justice at St. Paul’s University) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor John Blevins (Director of the Interfaith Health Program at Emory University) at email@example.com. If possible, please submit written materials in Microsoft Word format to allow for ease in editing.
For specific questions please contact Professor Esther Mombo and/or Professor John Blevins at the email addresses listed above.