College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954


2022 Call for Papers


Annie Selak, Georgetown Univiersity (DC)

Byron Wratee, Boston College (MA),


This year’s theme, “‘Why We Can’t Wait’: Racism and the Church” calls attention to the urgency of our particular ecclesial moment, as well as the legacy of racism and enduring impact in the church. The section welcomes proposals for ecclesiology-focused papers that pertain to this year’s theme. 


  1. In their 1979 pastoral letter on racism, “Brothers and Sisters to Us,” the US Conference of Catholic bishops said that the sin of racism “mocks the cross of Christ and ridicules the Incarnation.” They challenged the church to recognize new forms of racism and to bring those sins face-to-face with the figure of Christ. We welcome papers in historical and systematic theology that explore ecclesiologies that might assist churches in their responses to underexplored forms of racism. We also invite ecclesiology-focused papers in any functional specialty or subdiscipline of theology that focuses on underexplored forms of racism. Papers may explore specific ecclesial activities such as music, liturgy, arts, rites of passage, preaching, pastoral care, youth work, social justice work, or community organizing. We are particularly interested in papers that examine Catholic Church’s role in inspiring, shaping, problematizing, or resisting racism. Papers may focus on (but are not limited to) such topics as ecclesial responses to race and police violence, issue of inclusion, ecclesial relationship with first people/indigenous people, clergy sexual abuse of minoritized persons, as well as issues of local ecclesial conflicts (e.g., liturgical wars).
  2. One of our sessions will be co-sponsored with the Justice & Peace section and will focus on the work, thought, and legacy of Bishop Tom Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Detroit, who has been an integral part of the life of the Church in Detroit for many decades. We welcome proposals that look at his legacy specifically or broadly, on topics such as the nonviolence movement in the Church, discrimination and inclusion of the LGBTQ+ Community in the Church, and countering racism in Church and society.
  3. We are developing a session with local church leaders to discuss racism and anti-racism in the local church. Please stay tuned for more information on this session.


All papers should be conceived for an effective 20-25 minute presentation with a fifteen-minute discussion afterward. We will also consider proposals for alternative forms of presentation beyond standard paper presentations.


Please be sure to address proposals to both conveners at the email addresses indicated above and submit by December 15, 2021.

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


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software