The College Theology Society

 Serving Church and Academy Since 1954

History of Christian Life and Thought

2021 Call for Papers

Sandra Ham, Independent Scholar (NY) 

The section on The History of Christian Life and Thought invites proposals that address the conference theme: "The Human in a Dehumanizing World: Re-Examining Theological Anthropology and Its Implications." This theme invites scholars from across fields to engage in ressourcement, returning to the diverse sources of the Christian tradition (scriptural, theological, liturgical, spiritual, philosophical, etc.) in order to recover underappreciated, misunderstood, or forgotten resources in order to respond to the “signs of the times” in the “light of the Gospel” (Gaudium et Spes, 4).


Consider theological anthropology as "context" in the sense of being one source of norms and values that defines the moral space and limits within which a community responds to the trends and events of the times (especially crises such as food shortages or epidemics). Throughout the past 2,000 years trends in anthropology have changed from patristic through Augustinianism, Thomism, Nominalism, Protestant variants, and recently, secularism. Secular dehumanization works through philosophical, technological, political, social, and economic trends. Proposals are welcome that explore one of the many historical variations in theological anthropology in the Christian tradition. These may show how the resources of the theological tradition can speak to modern social contexts, or show how its classic loci can be clarified and articulated for the contemporary world. Consistent with the theme, proposals should address one of these projects:


  • Recover an underappreciated, misunderstood, or forgotten resource (scriptural, theological, liturgical, spiritual, philosophical, etc.), clarify and articulate it to show how it may respond to the current “signs of the times” in the “light of the Gospel” (Gaudium et Spes, 4).
  • Identify a forgotten or misunderstood Christian resource that has been re-invented in a secular form, and compare historical versus re-invented forms in relation to a specific dehumanizing trend.
  • Reflect on and evaluate how the theological anthropological context influenced a religious or political leader or thinker's response to a crisis, especially one brought about by an ecological disturbance that was beyond human control.
  • Reflect on and evaluate how the context affected a religious or political leader or thinker's response to a community in crisis with particular attention to the effects on the poor and the marginalized.
  • Revisit a prophet of modernity with his or her theological context, one who warned about a specific threat to the Christian conception of humanity and its potential deleterious societal effects. Reflect on the prescription for remediation, perhaps modifying and re-articulating it for today's challenges.


Proposals of approximately 500 words should include the scholar’s name, position, institution, and CTS membership status, and should be emailed no later than January 15, 2021 to


Sandra Ham (Convener)

Independent Scholar

Buffalo, NY



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