Ethics in Light of Childhood

John Wall is a theoretical ethicist whose research and teaching focus on the bases of moral life. He is particularly interested in moral life’s relations to language, poetics, narrative, culture, religion, time, and age. His work falls into three areas: post-structuralist ethics; ethics and religion; and the ethics of childhood.

His most recent book is Ethics in Light of Childhood (Georgetown 2010), an argument for “childism” or enabling considerations of children’s experiences to transform moral theory. He also recently co-edited Children and Armed Conflict (Palgrave 2011). Previous books include Moral Creativity (Oxford 2005), a discussion of the creative nature of moral relations, and the co-edited volumes Marriage, Health, and the Professions (Eerdmans 2002) and Paul Ricoeur and Contemporary Moral Thought (Routledge 2002).

He is currently working on a fictional book titled The Art of Being which examines the role of creativity in responding to meaninglessness, and a book titled Children’s Rights: Today’s Global Challenge, an introductory college textbook on the global children’s rights movement. His next book project will be on the relation of ethics to poetics.

Dr. Wall has taught at Rutgers University, Camden since 2000. He received a Ph.D. in Religious Ethics from the University of Chicago in 1999. He has chaired or read for a number of dissertations, serves on several scholarly journal editorial boards, in 2006 helped to create the first doctoral program in Childhood Studies in North America, and from 2010 to 2012 chaired the Childhood Studies and Religion Group at the American Academy of Religion.

He was awarded a 2006 Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence and a 2005 Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence at Rutgers University. He teaches courses in Evil, Biomedical Ethics, Religion and Culture, Introduction to the Bible, Philosophical and Religious Perspectives on Childhood, and Children’s Rights.

Click on this interview with Swedish Radio (minutes 43:30 to 48:20), February 10, 2015, to hear my defense of childism and children having the right to vote.

See my Votes at 16 op-ed supporting UK Labour Minister Ed Miliband’s proposal to lower the voting age to 16 at Democratic Audit UK (September 28, 2013).

Ethics in Light of Childhood is recommended for summer reading in Sweden.