College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954

Comparative Theology

2024 Call for Papers

Bennett Comerford, Harvard University (MA)

Katie Mahowski Mylroie, Boston College (MA)

The Comparative Theology Section invites papers that explore the 2024 College Theology Society conference theme of “Vulnerability & Flourishing.” This section is particularly interested in proposals on the following questions and topics:


How do “vulnerability” and “flourishing” translate across or among religions, 

cultures, and languages? What is at stake in attempts to translate or compare these concepts interreligiously?

●      Address interreligious and comparative theology in the context of various forms of abuses and responses to abuse. How does comparative or interreligious theology contend with tragedies such as child sexual abuse, institutional racism, modern slavery, ecological decimation, and others? What can we learn from examining and comparing various responses to vulnerability and abuse? In the face of abuse(s), how does comparative or interreligious theology speak of flourishing? What can we learn from examining and comparing various theologies of flourishing?

●    What is vulnerability and what does it mean to flourish in the comparative theological classroom? What pedagogical practices and strategies address, cultivate, and/or respond to vulnerability? How can we create educational spaces where all can flourish?

In what ways might comparative theology be understood as a particularly vulnerable theological practice? What are the merits or drawbacks of using the language of vulnerability to describe comparative theology?

●      The spectrum of genders and sexualities found in religious texts spans centuries and continents. What can we learn from comparative theology about vulnerability in terms of gender and sexuality, and how can we imagine, name, and/or work toward flourishing?

●      How do various traditions treat the vulnerability and powerlessness of addiction? Where is flourishing and hope in recovery? How could we construct an approach to addiction and soteriology, for example, through comparative theology?

●      This year’s conference will take place in Colorado 25 years after the Columbine High School massacre. How do interreligious responses to gun violence address vulnerability and flourishing? How does comparative and interreligious theology address the vulnerability of children and youth? Where do children and youth fit into theological discussions of flourishing?

We are excited to invite modes of conference presentations besides the typical 20-minute paper-reading, such as one or a combination of the following:


●      Sending out articles, texts, or other sources ahead of time for discussion in the session

●      Recording a video presentation to be viewed by participants ahead of time (connected to other source texts, discussion, etc.)

●      Connecting with local artists, activists, interreligious or interfaith groups, parishes, churches, non-Christian places of worship and their communities, colleges, schools, etc., for a collaborative proposal.

●      Engaging and collaborating with Native American activists, scholars, communities and more

●      Or any other alternative mode of conference presentations you may suggest


Proposals outside of the conference theme but still related to comparative or interreligious theology, theology of religions, or interreligious dialogue are welcome.

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 December 15, 2023. 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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