College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954


2023 Call for Papers

B. Kevin Brown, Gonzaga University (WA)

The Spirituality section of the College Theology Society is seeking paper and panel proposals that explore this year’s theme—“Theology and Media(tion): Rendering the Absent Present”—within the context of the study, teaching, and practice of spirituality. As such we invite proposals for papers and panels that explore how mediation, “as the dynamic between that which is present and that which is absent[,]…through Christ, the Church, liturgy, scripture, tradition, ethics, and pedagogy…has in fact been a consistent and underlying concern of Christian” spirituality. As this year’s volume editor’s note, “These questions have been amplified in new ways through the rise of digital technology and culture, posing challenges to traditional perspectives on embodiment, ritual, sociality, and aesthetics.  More recently, the global pandemic of 2020-2022 has shown many ways that the relationship of presence and absence underlie our relationships within families, religious communities, universities, and more.”


We encourage papers that explore, in anyway, the theme of mediation in relation to the study and practice Christian spirituality. Potential topics include 1) how one or more spiritual traditions (e.g., Ignatian, Franciscan, Carmelite, etc.) understand “the dynamic between that which is present and that which is absent,” 2) the relationship between presence and absence in the mystical spiritualities and/or theologies of one or more individuals (e.g., Teresa of Avila, Augustine of Hippo, John of the Cross, Catherine of Siena, Gustavo GutiĆ©rrez, Mary Daly, James Cone, Sandra Schneiders, to name only a few of the many possibilities), 3) the ways that new forms media developed in the last century have offered news ways of engaging in the study and practice of Christian spiritualities, 4) how virtual gatherings and practices during the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the practice and study of Christian spiritualities, and 5) the ways that understandings of mediation and symbol in Christian spirituality have contributed to the marginalization of persons and communities.


We also welcome other proposals on topics related to spirituality more generally, while giving priority to those that engage the conference theme.


Proposals should be 250-500 words in length, should include the scholar’s name, position, and institution, as well as any AV needs anticipated, and be emailed to the spirituality section convener ( by December 15, 2022. You must be a CTS member in good standing to present at the conference. Proposals will be reviewed and scholars will be notified of the status of their proposal 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.


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software