College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954

The Arts, Media, Literature, and Religion

2024 Call for Papers

Victoria Basug Slabinski, University of Virginia (VA)

Callie Tabor, Sacred Heart University (CT)

The Arts, Media, Literature and Religion (AMLR) section of the College Theology Society cordially invites proposals in light of the 2024 convention theme— “Vulnerability and Flourishing.” This theme invites us to consider how works of art, literature, and media address the theological significance of experiences of vulnerability— both as a good and as a site of potential harm. In light of this vulnerability, we are invited to consider how art and creativity might aid in the formation of flourishing communities. The section warmly welcomes proposals that take more systematic, historical, theoretical, or practical approaches to religious aesthetics and vulnerability/flourishing.


Non-specialists in the study of the arts, media, literature, or religion and theology are encouraged to consider submitting to this section. Graduate students and newer members of the CTS have also found a warm reception in our section.


Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • In what ways has art drawn attention to forms of vulnerability and abuse within religious institutions that have otherwise been covered up or distorted? Alternatively, how has the work of concealment been perpetuated through artistic media?
  • How should we respond to the works of abusive artists, especially those whose works are used in religious communities? What theological resources can help us to work toward communal flourishing that protects the most vulnerable in our communities in the aftermath of these discoveries?
  • How have artistic media provided creators with means of naming or working through traumas (personal and/or collective), and in what ways has vulnerability in artistic expression facilitated healing? How do we think about artistic or media portrayals of trauma in light of concerns about re-traumatization or commodification of trauma?
  • How has art acted as a resource for communal resilience, replenishment, or resistance? How might religious communities engage with or learn from art when responding to realities of abuse, traumas, or violence?
  • How has art, as a site of imagination, offered unique visions of flourishing? How might the creative space opened by art inform theological perspectives on salvation and eschatology?

Please email your 200-300 word abstract to BOTH AND by December 15, 2023. In your proposal, please include the title of your project, your name, institutional affiliation, and any audio/visual needs. Feel welcome to contact Callie Tabor and Victoria Basug Slabinski at the above addresses with any questions or concerns.

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