The College Theology Society

 Serving Church and Academy Since 1954

Justice and Peace

Linda Land-Closson, Regis University (CO)

Marcus Mescher, Xavier University (OH)


The Justice and Peace section invites proposals addressing the 2020 convention theme, Human Families: Identity, Relationships, and Responsibilities. Be sure to make explicit reference to the aspirations of the conference organizers’ full text in shaping your submission to explore the implications of a theo-ethics of family life that does justice and brings peace to individuals, couples, families, and all members of the church, academy, and society. We welcome proposals for papers or panels related but not limited to the following topics:

  • Theological reflection and ethical evaluation of the demographic changes to the institution of marriage and the patterns of family life. See, for example, reports from Pew Research Center on love and marriage and intermarriage or the growing number of families existing within and across unmarried households. Why are these trends significant for justice and peace?
  • Critical analysis and creative application of church teaching on family issues, including episcopal pastoral letters and papal apostolic exhortations. Approaching the 40th anniversary of Familiaris consortio and 5th anniversary of Amoris laetitia in 2021, how ought we evaluate, extrapolate, and add to these claims in light of the signs of the times today?
  • Exploration into how to recognize and accompany families in “irregular situations” (Amoris laetitia nos. 296-300) due to marital status, sexual orientation, religious belief/practice, adoption, and foster care, etc. For instance, how could we better envision a pastoral response to families impacted by bonds across race, religion, or other claims on identity and belonging?
  • Discussion of the possibilities and limits of justice and peace for families dealing with issues like mental health, employment, health care, care for those with special needs or an aging parent or relative, mass incarceration, immigration (including detention, family separation, and deportation), poverty, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, child abuse, gun violence, terrorism and war, and climate change. How do these life circumstances help us better understand the dynamics of a relational anthropology for justice and peace?
  • Engagement with the credibility and meaning of church teaching and policies on family life in the wake of the clergy abuse scandal, compensation of people who work for the church (or religious schools/institutions), firing LGBTQ employees, and other questions related to family leave, child care, and care for seniors. How can the church—in teaching and practice—better ensure justice and peace for families and society?
  • Assessment and application of the USCCB’s “Faithful Citizenship” document on the formation of conscience in order to articulate political views, advocate, and vote to affirm and promote the interests of families in the 2020 election. How do families play an essential role in cultivating civic duty, community organizing, and political advocacy, especially in the pursuit of justice and peace?

Other proposals relating to themes of justice and peace will also be considered. Please email your proposal (including your name, position, institutional affiliation, and CTS membership status) to both conveners by December 15, 2019. We are happy to field any questions or concerns you might have about this process or 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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