College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954

Symbol, Ritual, and Sacrament

2023 Call for Papers

A.J. Hoy, Duquesne University (PA)

Xavier M. Montecel, Saint Mary's University (TX)

The “Symbol, Ritual, and Sacrament” section of the College Theology Society invites proposals for papers, panels, and discussions at the 2023 conference. Primary consideration will be given to those proposals that incorporate the theme of the conference: “Theology and Media(tion): Rendering the Absent Present.”


Relevant topics might include:

  • The role of mediation in the liturgical activity of the church, from sacramental, pastoral, or anthropological perspectives.
  • The work of Louis-Marie Chauvet on the mediation of the church, brought into conversation with contemporary needs and questions.
  • Gift economies and the meaning of sacramental exchange in diverse liturgical settings.
  • Critical and constructive examinations of eucharistic discipline – the withholding of communion – in church, politics, and society.
  • The nature of ecclesial authority as “mediation,” especially as concerns issues of inculturation and creativity in liturgical and sacramental practices.
  • New questions in semiotics and symbology with an impact on sacramental theology.
  •  Mediation in relation to contemporary liturgical and sacramental controversies, including but not limited to:
  • Invalid baptisms declared in the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix in February 2022.
  • The CDF responsum banning same-sex blessings in March 2021.
  • Pope Francis’s liturgical reforms (Traditiones custodes, Desiderio desideravi) and the response of the faithful.
  • Divorce and admission to the Eucharist since Amoris laetitia.
  • The breakage of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow patriarchate and liturgical changes to affirm division.
  • The use of new communication technologies (Zoom, etc.) and social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) in prayer and sacramental worship – challenges and possibilities.
  • Digitization of liturgy, fully online communities of faith, the ecclesiological significance of digital space, the nature of embodiment through technological mediation.
  • Mediation in relation to the “vices” of liturgy: sacramental weaponization, clericalism/hierarchalism, racism and white supremacy, misogyny, colonialism, etc.


Proposals should not exceed 450 words. Please include your name, institution, rank, street address and state, and current CTS membership status. Proposals should be sent via email to both section conveners, Xavier M. Montecel ( and A.J. Hoy ( by December 15, 2022.


Please describe any technology that will be needed should the proposal be accepted. Decisions will be communicated by January 15, 2023 at the email address provided.

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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