College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954

Mysticism and Politics

2022 Call for Papers

Eileen Fagan, College of Mount Saint Vincent (NY)

Janice Thompson, Kings College (PA)

The convention theme for 2022 is: “Why We Can’t Wait: Racism and the Church.” The past several years, and 2021 in particular, have shown us a very fractured and racially divided America. The killings of Black persons of all genders, the mainstreaming and acceptance of White nationalism, the dehumanization of migrants and the separation of their children from them, the total disregard for and mistreatment of our indigenous people throughout the centuries, the voter restriction laws, and the anti-Asian and anti-Semitic sentiments are a few of the overt examples that show the entrenchment of racism in American society. But racism shows itself also in less obvious ways with subtle acts of exclusion or avoidance, racial “jokes” and stereotyping. Whether overt or covert, all these racial acts of dehumanization and injustice are seeping into every facet of society, including religious life, and compromising the flourishing of human life. What light does mysticism bring to political efforts to dismantle or transform dehumanizing cultures or institutions? How do we transform a society of indifference or rejection to one of concern and compassion? How do we approach our world with a “mysticism of wide-open eyes,” an “attitude of encounter,” a “dialogue as a practice of hospitality” and a “determination to speak and act truth to power”? How does our mystical and political imagination help us to think of and act on behalf of a future that shows Christianity embracing human dignity and common good for all God’s people? Since teaching is a value of CTS, what pedagogical structures and theological perspectives must we embody in order to begin the dismantling of “White normativity” or “White supremacy” that may prevail in our classrooms and certainly in our country? These are just a few questions to begin your thinking and your creative imagination. We need to break new ground and produce new visions. Time is of the essence. Some of the present forms of relationships are destructive to a flourishing creation. The Mysticism and Politics section welcomes proposals for papers, panels, and other presentation formats in response to the convention theme. Papers addressing other topics will be considered, but the conveners will give priority to those proposals that reflect the convention theme. If you have any questions concerning this section’s call, please contact the conveners. Proposals are limited to 250 words. Please send a copy of your proposal to both Eileen Fagan ( and Janice Thompson ( When you send your proposal, please include the name of your institution and your contact information. Deadline for receiving proposals is 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.


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