The Center for Political Theology at Villanova University invites proposals for symposia of 3-6 contributors to be featured on its new blog, Catholic Re-Visions, hosted on politicaltheology.com. Catholic Re-Visions will publish essays of 1500-2000 words that critically engage the Catholic tradition and Catholic-adjacent questions and movements using a variety of approaches, re-(en)visioning what Catholicism is, implies, and does. Animated by a concern for justice, this blog will spotlight stories, practices, images, concepts, and scholarly debates that enrich our understanding of Catholicism (broadly understood) and politics (broadly understood). Drawing contributors from within and beyond the academy and from within and beyond the Catholic church, we anticipate that authors will bring a critical edge to their contributions, troubling readers’ understandings of the Catholic tradition’s past and present, as well as offering new visions for its future.
We envision proposals asking questions about grassroots social movements, about gender, race, and class, about colonialism and its legacies, about the connections between the personal and the political, and about the unspoken foundations of Catholic thought and political thought. Instead of focusing on the categories of moral theology or the landscape of electoral politics, this blog invites a variety of tools to open the space where the ethical, the social, the political, and the religious touch and tangle, provoke and perplex.
Possible topics of inquiry include:
- The historical relationship between Catholicism and concepts or theories of race, gender, sexuality, media, materiality, economy, ecology, or property
- Grassroots struggles of Catholics and Catholic-adjacent political agents against social injustices from a global perspective
- Catholic takes on crises of political and religious legitimacy
- The politics of interfaith or coalitional organizing from a Catholic perspective
- The political theologies of saints, popes and/or Catholic intellectuals or activists
- Approaches and resonances between Catholic thought, political theology and strands of critical theory
- Critically interrogating questions of power within the institutional church (between the laity and clergy or clerical hierarchy) and outside of it (Vatican diplomatic relations)
- Historical and conceptual connections between liberation theology, political theology, and/or economic theology
- Examinations of the material foundations of Catholicism, analyzing land holdings, banking, slave holdings, conquests, etc.
- Political and social questions connected to the clergy sex abuse crisis and clericalism
- Describing, challenging, or amending Catholic visions for a “just society” and the “common good”
- New ways of approaching synodality, liturgy, and iconography from perhaps outside the Catholic church
- Your own idea!
Proposals are due December 15, 2021. In a document of about 400-500 words:
- outline what concept(s) or practice(s) your symposium seeks to re-vision
- discuss what possible approaches your contributors will employ to provide (several) re-visions
- explain why you and the group of people in the symposium fit together and fit with the theme of your symposium
- list the possible best dates for your symposium to run between February 2022 and December 2o23
- provide link(s) to one or two online writing samples from any member(s) of your symposium.
We will value proposals that include a diverse range of authors from different career stages, a gender balance among authors, authors from the Global South, as well as activists from social movements (faith-based or secular) or non-academics.
Questions and proposals can be sent to Jacques Linder (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Vincent Lloyd (email@example.com), co-conveners of Catholic Re-Visions. Proposals will be evaluated by an Academic Advisory Board (listed below). Notification of acceptance will arrive by January 2022.
Calls for content on Catholic Re-Visions in other forms, such as interviews, reports from the ground, and creative or interactive projects will be forthcoming.
Catholic Re-Visions Academic Advisory Board:
Kevin Ahern, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College
Sharon A. Bong, Associate Professor of Gender and Religious Studies, Monash University Malaysia
Dean Dettloff, Central Ontario Animator, Development and Peace
Nichole Flores, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Judith Gruber, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Leo Guardado, Assistant Professor of Theology, Fordham University
Hille Haker, Richard A. McCormick, S.J., Chair of Catholic Moral Theology, Loyola University Chicago
Valentina Napolitano, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
James Padilioni, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Swarthmore College
Anna Rowlands, St Hilda Associate Professor of Catholic Social Thought & Practice, Durham University
Matthew Shadle, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Marymount University
Sarah Shortall, Assistant Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
Stephan Steiner, Head of Philosophy & Co-Founder Center for Intellectual Diaspora, Catholic Academy of Berlin
Nicole Symmonds, Visiting Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University
Cristina Traina, Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, Chair of Catholic Theology, Fordham University