College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954


2024 Call for Papers

Kari-Shane Davis Zimmerman, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University (MN)

Jacob Kohlhaas, Loras College,

Tom Leininger, Regis University,  

This year’s convention theme, “Vulnerability and Flourishing” offers opportunities for a wide range of explorations and applications of theological ethics and moral theology. The Ethics Section at CTS recognizes that the church and the field of moral theology/Christian ethics is at an important crossroads given our awareness of past and ongoing patterns of abuse, cover-up, and injustice which deny voice and agency to many (such as children, women, elderly, migrants and refugees, people of color, indigenous, and other vulnerable persons and creations of God). As CTS leadership points out, there is important work to be done. As a post-traumatic church and society, how can we become more attuned to the various and evolving ways vulnerability is experienced? Experiences of protection, healing, and resilient living and the possibility of flourishing in various religious, cultural, and political contexts are also worthy of our theological reflection. This might be done by comparison and contrast between and within religious, cultural, and/or global communities or contexts of vulnerability. Similarly, because vulnerability to violence and injustice occurs on many different levels and at the intersections of race, sex, gender, and ability-disability, theological reflection on the recovery and healing of personal and communal agency is one aim of this conference. Another aim is to explore the roles of both theological and non-theological disciplines in the formation of flourishing and vulnerability-centered cultures.


Therefore, the Ethics Section calls for paper proposals that thoughtfully and creatively engage the philosophical and theological underpinnings of the concept of vulnerability and/or flourishing for persons and the natural world. Topic areas to consider may include, but are not limited to:

  • How can we better understand moral vulnerability and moral agency?
  • How can we better understand and respond to the moral dimensions of relationships of unequal power and experiences of vulnerability?
  • How can transformation and flourishing occur through shared vulnerability?
  • Where might we raise awareness of unrecognized vulnerability in our world? How might we offer resources for response?
  • How does vulnerability – in one or more of its diverse forms – affect flourishing?

  • What might we learn from reflection on the preferential option for the vulnerable?

  • How might flourishing be understood within Pope Francis’ emphasis upon integral human development, integral ecological conversion, and synodality?

  • How might flourishing be understood within Pope Francis’ emphasis upon integral human development, integral ecological conversion, and synodality?

  • How might we enable an ethic of flourishing in church and society, rather than persistent vulnerability to abuse, harm, or re-traumatization?

High-quality proposals in any area of theological ethics and moral theology will be considered, but proposals that clearly engage the convention theme will have priority. The Ethics section also invites proposals that attend to the interdisciplinary, ecumenical, and/or interreligious contexts of contemporary ethical inquiry, particularly in collaboration with scholars of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion. 


Submission Requirements:  

·       Conference presenters must be members of the College Theology Society.

·       Ph.D. candidates must be ABD to submit a proposal. 


Submission Information Details: 

·       Please submit a proposal of 300 words and a brief list of the 3-5 most centrally significant sources for this paper in the body of an e-mail message directed to all conveners.  

·       Please also include your institutional affiliation (if any), contact information, and current status (Assistant, Associate, PhD. Candidate) along with your proposal 


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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