Catholic Theological Society of America

Catholic Theological Society of America


Call For Papers

Theological Antrhopology Topic Session

The Theological Anthropology Topic Session’s administrative team invites proposals for papers reflecting on the convention’s theme of “Identity and Difference, Unity and Fragmentation.” Specifically, we welcome responses to the following question: What does it mean for Catholics and, more broadly, Christians to be embodied as members of particular racial/ethnic groups (white included) with particular histories, histories that are intimately interrelated and intertwined with one another?

While we recognize the complex nature of interlocking oppressions, including also age, ability, sexuality, gender, ecological concerns, and more, we believe that the limits of a discussion about racial and ethnic embodied particularity have not yet been reached. We are most interested in proposals that theologically engage white privilege with attention to our material, corporeal nature. We are especially eager to receive proposals that promise constructive theological work with implications for concrete action. For example:

  • Discuss how Christians might imagine our embodied, historical, racial and ethnic particularities as opportunities to expand our horizons and develop creative unity. What kind of unity should we seek, and how? The paper might analyze the efforts of one or more communities that have striven toward interracial unity.
  • Develop an understanding of embodiment that could compel more Catholics to venture out of our liturgical comfort zones to worship with people of other races and cultures, whether occasionally or regularly. Discuss the advantages and limitations of doing so.
  • Evaluate one (or more) theme(s) in Christian thought for its (their) potential to promote positive engagements in and with our varied embodiments. For example, creation, grace and sin, sacramentality, the image of God, the body of Christ, could be interpreted in a way that grounds a multicultural liturgy or other community event.
  • In the U. S., white privilege or white domination presents a particularly salient problem. In light of this, consider theologically the historical and ongoing exclusionary ecclesial practices, intentional or not, of white Christians. To what extent are these practices imitated or replicated by people of color? What resources might help us all to begin or continue addressing these practices?
  • Other related questions.

While we will give preference to proposals addressing this topic, we will consider others, especially those focusing on embodiment and/or the convention theme.

Proposals should be between 200 and 500 words in length; state participant’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information; clearly specify any audio-visual needs; and include (in addition to the word limit) a 100-word précis to be posted in the convention program on the CTSA website. Proposals must be submitted by September 1, 2013 to Karen Teel (karenteel@sandiego.edu), with notification to be sent on or before September 14, 2013. Proposals will be evaluated by all members of the Theological Anthropology topic session administrative team: Karen Teel (University of San Diego), Nancy Pineda-Madrid (Boston College), and a third member TBD. Normally, presenters must be current, dues-paying members of the CTSA or have applied for membership by September 1.

N.B.: In order to encourage broad participation across the society and to promote the visibility of the work of scholars of color, the Board of Directors limits white scholars to one speaking role at the convention, including the Women’s Consultation.