College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954

Sexuality, Relationships, Marriage, and Family Life

2024 Call for Papers

Mary Gratton, Merion Mercy Academy (PA)

Emma McDonald Kennedy, Villanova University (PA)


This year’s conference theme, “Vulnerability and Flourishing,” invites us to consider how various and evolving kinds of vulnerabilities affect our families, intimate relationships, and kinship networks. Centering experiences of vulnerability along with possibilities of resilience and flourishing, this conference theme invites us to consider how theologies of sexuality, relationships, marriage, and family can contribute resources that respond to vulnerability to violence and abuse and support the flourishing of all of God’s creation. 


The Sexuality, Relationships, Marriage, and Family Life section invites papers, panel proposals, and as well as workshop proposals on topics related to vulnerability and flourishing. Preference will be shown to proposals that explicitly engage the conference theme.


Potential topics might include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:


      Responses to the prevalence of intimate partner domestic violence

      The role of the family in sustaining flourishing and preventing abuse

      Theological critiques of and responses to abuse within families

      The role of the church in supporting the flourishing of families and preventing abuse

      Loss of family trust and the church’s sexual abuse crisis

      Possibilities of flourishing in family formation after experiences of abuse

      Systemic inequalities and vulnerability of families

      Diverse family configurations and structures as they relate to vulnerability and flourishing

      Technology, vulnerability and family flourishing

      Vulnerability and flourishing of LGBTQIA+ persons and their families

      Connections between family practices and ecological vulnerability

      Vulnerability and flourishing for children and parents through adoption and/or foster families

      Sexual flourishing outside of Church ideals

      Relationship between vulnerability and flourishing in friendships and in spirituality


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 2024.

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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