John Wall is a theoretical ethicist whose research and teaching focus on the groundworks of moral life. He is particularly interested in moral life’s relations to language, power, culture, and childhood. His work falls into three main areas: post-structuralist ethics; childhood and children’s rights; and the politics of globalization.
He is currently working on a book titled Voting for Children: How to Democratize Democracy, due for publication in 2021. It is an argument for voting rights for all regardless of age. He is also working on a novel, The Art of Being, and a book on ethical aesthetics titled Transsensus: On Global Citizenship.
He is founding director of the Childism Institute, a global collaboration dedicated to challenging children’s historical marginalization by transforming scholarly, social, and political structures and norms. Previously he directed a two-year project, Exploring Interdisciplinary Global Studies, that conducted workshops and conferences investigating interdisciplinary understanding of globalization theory.
His latest book is Children’s Rights: Today’s Global Challenge (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), a critical examination of the global children’s rights movement in its theoretical, historical, and practical complexity, and an argument that children’s rights are the major human rights challenge of the twenty-first century.
His previous books include Ethics in Light of Childhood (Georgetown 2010), where he develops the concept of “childism” or enabling considerations of children’s experiences to transform moral theory; and Moral Creativity (Oxford 2005), an investigation of the creative and poetic nature of moral existence.
He has also authored dozens of articles and chapters and co-edited Children and Armed Conflict (Palgrave 2011); Marriage, Health, and the Professions (Eerdmans 2002); and Paul Ricoeur and Contemporary Moral Thought (Routledge 2002; paperback 2016).
Dr. Wall received a Ph.D. in Religious Ethics from the University of Chicago in 1999. He has taught at Rutgers University Camden since 2000, where he teaches courses in Children’s Rights, Evil, Biomedical Ethics, Religion and Culture, Introduction to the Bible, and Philosophical and Religious Perspectives on Childhood.
In 2006 he helped to create North America’s first doctoral program in Childhood Studies, and from 2010 to 2012 chaired the Childhood Studies and Religion Group at the American Academy of Religion. In Fall 2016 he served as Acting Associate Dean of the Rutgers University Camden Faculty of Arts and Sciences Graduate School and Research. He has chaired or read for a number of dissertations, serves on several scholarly journal editorial boards. 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.