The College Theology Society

 Serving Church and Academy Since 1954

Anthropology, Psychology and Religion

2021 Call for Papers

Julia Brumbaugh, Regis University (CO)

Jay Martin, University of Notre Dame (IN)

For this year’s Anthropology, Psychology, and Religion section, we are excited to engage the conference theme of “The Human in a Dehumanizing World” through engagement with the range of disciplines and methods pointed to by the broad fields of anthropology, psychology and religion.  Those interdisciplinary engagements may include (but certainly are not limited to) anthropological, psychological, psychoanalytical, sociological, ethnographic, and other social scientific and philosophical disciplines and methods. Suggested areas of inquiry include:

Interdisciplinary and theological engagements with notions (and critiques) of the self in modernity arising in diverse sources, such as: 

  • Issues in political theology and theory, particularly responses to anti-humanist philosophies of the 20th century, including the thought of Giorgio Agamben, Louis Althusser, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, Claude Levi-Strauss, Catherine Pickstock, and Carl Schmitt, among others.
  • Responses to the post-humanism movement with respect to its theological and philosophical justifications and its technological developments, including artificial intelligence, robotics, digital surveillance, and so forth.
  • Ecological accounts of the human in relationship to non-human animals and the more than human world such as found in the work of David Abrams, Vine Deloria, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Joanna Macy, Freya Matthews, Robert McFarlane, among many others.
  • Theological reflections on the notion of “overhumanization” as developed by Regis Debray and William Schweiker, which the latter describes as “the relentless drive of technological power to enfold all life within its kingdom and thereby subdue any 'outside' to the human project,” as informed by an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Theological engagements with theories of race, including the thought of J. Cameron Carter, James Cone, M. Shawn Copeland, Saddiya Hartman, Willie Jennings, Audre Lorde, Fred Moten, Christina Sharpe, Cornel West, Frank B. Wilderson, III, and others. 
  • Psychology and social psychology.  For example, Cultural-Relational Theory/Therapy as found in the work of Jean Baker Miller, Maureen Walker, et al. 
  • Philosophical interruptions of the modern self such as found in the work of Judith Butler, Alisdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum, or Charles Taylor, et al.  
  • Ethnographic research exploring the human situation (both humanizing and dehumanizing), particularly the work arising from developments in an anthropology of Christianity, and in ethnographic work by theologians.

Other interdisciplinary, constructive and/or creative theological proposals along the axes of classical and contemporary doctrines related to theological anthropology, or otherwise connecting to the conference theme will be enthusiastically considered.

Panel Proposals

  • We are interested in the possibility of a panel proposal, wherein multiple scholars engage a particular book, author, or tradition of thought that examines “the human in a dehumanizing world” that is fruitful for theological reflection.  We like the idea of using the likely virtual or hybrid nature of next year’s conference to explore the possibility of inviting a non-CTS member whose work has been fruitful for theological reflection on our theme. 

Please submit proposals to both conveners by January 15, 2021. They should be no more than 500 words in length and include the presenter’s institutional affiliation, position, and contact information, as well as any requests for AV support, and preliminary preferences for participating in person or virtually.  Presenters should be members of the CTS at the time of the meeting in June 2020.

Decisions will be communicated by February 15, 2021 at the email address provided.

The College Theology Society is a registered, non-profit professional society and a Related Scholarly Organization of the American Academy of Religion.


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