College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954

Symbol, Ritual, and Sacrament

2024 Call for Papers

A.J. Hoy, Duquesne University (PA)

Paul Melley, Providence College (RI)

The “Symbol, Ritual, and Sacrament” section of the College Theology Society invites proposals for papers, panels, and discussions at the 2024 conference. Primary consideration will be given to those proposals that incorporate the theme of the conference: “Vulnerability and Flourishing”.


Relevant topics might include:


  • Liturgies from below, sourcing liturgical celebrations and rites from vulnerable and marginalized populations for the broader church.
  • Gift economies and the meaning of sacramental exchange in diverse liturgical settings.
  • The role of violence in liturgical celebration, especially pertaining to the use of liturgy as a tool to promote violent ideologies.
  • The duties of ecclesial authorities acting in liturgical capacities in prompting practical progress toward the promotion of human flourishing.
  • Ecological elements of liturgy and sacraments i.e., sacramentality of creation, eco-sacramentality of the funeral, native and indigenous contributions to ecologically focused liturgy, etc.
  • The capacity of liturgy and sacraments to be weaponized against marginalized (underserved and underrepresented) populations
  • The admission of divorced and remarried Catholics to eucharistic communion
  • The prevalence of liturgical and sacramental boundary markers other than baptism—challenges and possibilities concerning initiation and belonging
  • The accessibility of liturgy and sacraments for persons with disabilities.
  • Traditional sacramental responses to trauma, their efficacy, and their intended ends
  • Liturgies of lament, hope, and reconciliation at the service of the Kin-dom of God
  • The essential nature of liturgical praxis in promoting a truly human life
  • The role of liturgy and sacraments in corporate ethical formation—challenges and possibilities for forming liturgical communities to execute core principles of Catholic Social Teaching.


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, A.J. Hoy ( and Paul Melley ( by December 15, 2023.


Please describe any technology that will be needed should the proposal be accepted. Decisions will be communicated by January 15, 2024 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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