Catholic Theological Society of America

Catholic Theological Society of America


Call For Papers

Christ Topic Session

Administrative Team:

Susie Paulik Babka (Convener)
Elisabeth Vasko, (Moderator)
Orfilio Valiente

Convention Theme: Justice and Mercy

Session Description:
The Christology/Christ Session invites paper proposals on the convention theme “Justice and Mercy.” How has contemporary Christology systematically attended to the relationship between justice and mercy? This theme offers many fruitful avenues of inquiry. For example, how has Christology suffered from the failure of both Catholic theology and the Catholic Church to emphasize mercy? Such is a question inspired by Cardinal Walter Kasper’s recent book, Mercy: the Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life (Paulist, 2014). Kasper notes that the Catholic handbooks of the twentieth and early twenty-first century devote almost nothing to the systematic exposition of divine mercy (even confessing his own neglect in this regard); there is no discussion of mercy in terms of divine attributes, and so any discussion of mercy refers to the historical and biblical self-revelation of God, confronting us with the fundamental problem of considering the divine first from the metaphysical conception of God and only secondarily from the historical and biblical. From a Christological perspective, how has the consideration of the divine from the priority of metaphysics resulted in consequences that ignore the praxis of mercy and justice?

For Example:

  • How has such a priority of metaphysics over the gospel exacerbated the motivations of colonialism?  Taking into context our meeting in Puerto Rico, the mutual reliance of colonialism and Christianity should be an important aspect of our theological regard.  
  • What role does the significance of geography, economics, race, or gender play in shaping Christological discourse/Christopraxis of justice and mercy?
  • Another way to approach the lacuna of the consideration of mercy regarding Christology refers to reflections on the suffering of Christ; because discourse on the divine attributes has emphasized the immutability and impassibility of God, how has this had what Kasper calls “catastrophic” consequences for Christology?

Please send paper proposals between 200-500 words via email to Drs. Babka (sbabka@sandiego.edu), Vasko (vaskoe@duq.edu), and Valiente (orfilio.valiente@bc.edu) for consideration in the slate for the 2016 conference. Proposals should include your name, institution and other contact information, a 100 word précis to be used in an online program posted on the web should your paper be accepted, and whether you require AV support, by September 1, 2015.

CTSA guidelines require that those making proposals ordinarily be Active or Associate members of the Society in good standing with their dues current. 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. An exception is made for members of under‐represented groups, not including presentations made to the Women’s Consultation on Constructive Theology. A new CTSA rule stipulates that a member may not present more than two years in a row.

Administrative Team:
Susie Paulik Babka, University of San Diego, Convener: sbabka@sandiego.edu
Elisabeth Vasko, Duquesne University, Moderator: vaskoe@duq.edu
Orfilio Valiente, Boston College, Team Member