The College Theology Society

 Serving Church and Academy Since 1954

Theology, Ecology, and Natural Science

Lucas Briola, Saint Vincent College (PA)

Paul Schutz, Santa Clara University (CA)

Catholic social teaching, most recently in Laudato si’, stresses the profound interrelationship between “human ecology” and “natural ecology”, our “human family” and our “biological family” in our common home. We seek papers in this spirit. Specific topics include:

  • Applying ethological and other scientific studies of interspecies communication, co-development, symbiosis, and coevolution to interpret how human families form and function; constructing and/or reinterpreting relational anthropologies on the basis of studies of humans as social animals;
  • Discussing how scientific insights on gender and sexuality might strengthen or reshape understandings of the meaning and vocation of the human family vis-a-vis official ecclesial teaching;
  • Synthesizing themes concerning “human ecology” and themes concerning “natural ecology” in Catholic social teaching;
  • Offering familial interpretations of Laudato si's language of "our common home," and/or using the image of earth as a “shared home” to cultivate new interpretations of human families as ecological families;
  • Assessing the impact of climate change on families and communities; understanding how climate change leads to the displacement of peoples, families, etc., linking migration and racial justice with issues of ecosystem collapse;
  • Considering how families might foster the “ecological education” called for in Laudato si’ (see esp. sec. 213).

Compelling topics not directly related to the annual conference theme will also be considered.  Clarity, focus, and pertinence to the topic area are the hallmarks of successful submissions.

Proposals should be 250-500 words in length and include one’s current institutional affiliation and position. Proposals should be emailed by December 15, 2019. Scholars will be notified of the status of their proposals by mid-January.

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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