Catholic Theological Society of America

Catholic Theological Society of America

Call For Papers

Bioethics/Healthcare Topic Session

Administrative Team:
     Andrea Vicini, SJ, Boston College SMT (Convener)
     Robert V. Doyle, Loyola Marymount University
     Meghan J. Clark, St. John’s University

Convention Theme: Sensus Fidelium

Session Description:
In light of the Second Vatican Council, the sensum fidelium stresses how, through baptism, all the faithful are gifted and summoned to participate fully in the life and mission of the church. The people of God participate in the prophetic office of Jesus Christ in truthful witness and missionary outreach. Hence, the sensus fidelium informs the relationships within the church and with those outside the Catholic church.

The engagement and creativity of God’s people matter, particularly when believers address urgent issues in bioethics and in healthcare. In light of the comprehensive scope that characterizes the sensus fidelium, the Bioethics/Healthcare Topic Session welcomes proposals on four pressing topics that concern humanity as a whole: global health, public health, sustainability, and resilience.

(1) Global Health: A theological understanding of preserving and promoting health requires often individual, collective, and institutional commitments. However, the awareness that one’s health is inseparable from the health of humankind is hardly shared. Resistance surfaces; national and international political engagements stagnate. What engagement and creativity could lead to a more shared commitment to promote global health among believers and citizens alike? What could theological ethicists do to strengthen the ethical engagement in promoting global health?

(2) Public Health: The ethical issues concerning public health center often on health structures and on social determinants of health. How can a theological understanding of structural violence/sin promote public health? What could theological ethicists do to strengthen healthcare delivery locally and regionally?

(3) Sustainability: The ethical challenges associated with fostering sustainable conditions of life on the planet do not solely concern ecological survival. How can sustainability, as a theological concept, shape an ethical commitment in bioethics and in healthcare? What can theological ethicists do to promote human creativity and technology to foster sustainable conditions for life?

(4) Resilience: Resilience is the ability of people, communities, and systems to maintain their core purpose and integrity amid unforeseen shocks and crises. How can resilience, as a theological concept, shape ethical strategies and practices in bioethics and in healthcare? What can theological ethicists do to develop an approach that values personal and collective resilience in bioethical and healthcare matters?

The proposed four topics (i.e., global health, public health, sustainability, and resilience) aim at addressing challenging global issues in bioethics and in healthcare. By stimulating the production of theologically creative and insightful essays, the Administrative Team intends to foster theological scholarship in these important areas of ethical concern.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Proposal should be not more than 250 words.
  • You should also include a 100 words précis that will be posted on the CTSA website should your paper be accepted.
  • Include full name and contact information of all participants, including e-mail.
  • Indicate whether your presenters will be requiring A/V equipment. 
  • CTSA guidelines require that those making proposals ordinarily be associate or full members in good standing with their dues paid up.  Anyone with an associate or full membership application on file can also submit a proposal if they expect to be accepted for membership in the upcoming June convention. 
  • No member may present a paper/respond to a paper/participate on a panel more than once at a given convention, with the exception of members of under-represented groups.

Deadline: September 1, 2014.  Please submit proposals to: Andrea Vicini, SJ, at
You will be notified by e-mail whether your paper has been accepted by September 14, 2014.