Center for Interreligious and Multidisciplinary Ethics (C I M E)
The Center for Interreligious and Multidisciplinary Ethics (C I M E) is the world’s first platform bringing together practitioners and ethicists from the different religious traditions to engage creatively and critically, challenging one another and learning from one another, thereby broadening the horizons of their individual and collective ethical resources to bring to bear on the most pressing ethical questions of our time: from bioengineering to genetic engineering, from artificial intelligence to transhumanism, from climate change to animal ethics, from sexual ethics to sex trafficking, from racial justice to global poverty. The concerns are multifarious, and the challenges are inter-tangled and with far-reaching consequences. Questions around bioengineering and genetic engineering, as well as transhumanism and artificial intelligence, raise central questions about what it means to be “human.” Questions around earth ethics and animal ethics raise concerns about how human beings are meant to meaningfully engage with the earth around us and in us all. Concerns around sex trafficking and racial justice and global poverty raise the central question of universal human dignity.
Moral norms vary from community to community, from religion to religion, from time period to time period. Our work at the C I M E is geared towards building greater understanding between the different spiritual-intellectual traditions through the exploration of globally relevant ethical concerns. The different traditions have varied starting assumptions about what it means to be human and how human beings relate to God and the rest of the world. However, in order to conceive of our collective human flourishing, we must increasingly conceive of a world where various spiritual-intellectual communities come together to share their intellectual-spiritual resources with the intention of not only learning about one another but also learning from each other, thereby broadening our collective intellectual-spiritual tools. It is our hope that the moral norms emerging from such exchanges will have a broad-based consensus. Such “normative” ethical frameworks will necessarily take into consideration the complex socio-economic-cultural-scientific contexts within which we all live and breathe.
A critical component in such discussions between different religious traditions is for religionists to dialogue with and learn from experts in various fields—from the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities broadly speaking. Since the purpose of C I M E is to have productive discussions from various perspectives with the aim of broadening our collective knowledge on the myriad complex problems that face us all, it is paramount that religionists draw on the wealth of knowledge present in the various disciplines, and vice versa, if we are to make meaningful progress. To this end, the institute actively engages with experts from multiple disciplines, with the aim of constantly broadening its knowledge base.