Religious Ethics and 21st Century Surveillance

CFP closes 1st Sept 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017 - Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Human flourishing is aided and hindered by surveillance systems. Religious ethics, directed towards an authentic way of life, have, therefore, a significant interest in how Big Data  and other surveillance strategies shape men and women. On the other hand, religious ethics may reflect the concerns of analogue societies rather than 21st century digital, networked communities.

This workshop offers the opportunity to discuss a wide range of questions. What are the contributions of religious perspectives to ethical questions around privacy and Big Data? What is ethical surveillance of bodies that are viewed in the light of the Divine? Can religious traditions endorse the quantification of the self? Does the economy of surveillance influence the way surveillance technology is used – of free will or by force – in religious communities?


What is a religious ethic of trust in contexts of hyper-vigilance and moral panics fed by intrusive surveillance? How do religious ethics of non-violence adapt to conflict engaged remotely through systems of image-gathering?
Does surveillance change the religious self-understanding? Can we speak about surveillance as a sort of religion? Does the practice of surveillance transform religious practice and if so, what are the ethical implications?

In this third in a series of three workshops, the main presenters will include:
Dr Anat Leibler (Bar Ilan University, Israel); Maria Kjellsdotter-Rydinger (Together For Sweden); Dr Brian Brock (University of Aberdeen); Dr Esther Reed (University of Exeter) and Professor Allyson Macvean (Bathspa University) – Reed and Macvean co-authoring a paper; Dr Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson (Stockholm School of Theology); and Dr Eric Stoddart (University of St Andrews).