The College Theology Society

 Serving Church and Academy Since 1954

Sexuality, Relationships, Marriage, and Family Life

2021 Call for Papers

Mary-Beth Yount, Neumann University (PA)

Craig A. Ford, Jr., Saint Norbert College (WI)

This year’s conference theme--The Human in a Dehumanizing World: Re-Examining Theological Anthropology and Its Implications--invites us to think about how theological anthropology and human dignity are connected to discourses about the possible forms that human intimacy and kinship can take, the responsibilities of persons within those relationships, and the responsibilities that society has with respect to these relationships.

To this end, the Sexuality, Relationships, Marriage and Family Life section can analyze critically events in our world that involve the dehumanization of persons precisely as participants within these relationships and kinship networks. Such events include the effects of incarceration and of the prison industrial complex upon families and intimate relationships, violence committed against families in the name of safety and national security, injustices committed against families during the COVID-19 pandemic, the survival of families and intimacies amid changing environmental conditions, and more.

The Sexuality, Relationships, Marriage, and Family Life section warmly invites papers, panel proposals, and as well as workshop proposals in order to shed light on some aspects of these question(s). Preference will be shown to proposals that explicitly engage the conference theme. Potential topics might include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

  • The impact of the industrial prison structure on individuals and families.
  • Marginalization of and systemic neglect of the poor and other vulnerable populations, including: black persons, migrants, nonbinary persons, and women.
  • The separation of children and families at the border, deportation, and visa privilege.
  • Inequitable access to healthcare during a global pandemic and disproportionate impacts on particular populations.
  • Colonialism, heteronormativity, and glorified individualism.
  • Ecological devastation and disproportionate access to vital natural resources.
  • Political and ecclesial corruption and the lack of respect for human dignity they evidence.
  • The violence of our homes, our workplaces, and our church.
  • Sexual assault, harassment, and abuse.
  • Mental health stigma, sizeism, and ableism.
  • Spiritual abuse and the dehumanizing effects of hierarchical structures.
  • Ways that a recognition of human dignity can be fostered through feminist as well LGBT and queer advocacy.
  • Shaping new or shifting conceptions of relationships, families, and sexuality within a global church.
  • Particular migration and anti-incarceration policies on families and relationships in the wake of global nationalist movements and/or a global pandemic.
  • Family support services (both within and outside of the Church) as a locus of care for LGBTQ+ persons, “nontraditional” families, or those struggling with mental health issues or addiction.

Proposals should be 250-500 words in length and include one’s current institutional affiliation and position. Proposals should be emailed to both conveners by January 15, 2021. Scholars will be notified of the status of their proposals by mid-February.

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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