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Annual Meeting at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA May 29-June 1, 2014

The College Theology Society holds its Sixtieth Annual Convention from May 29-June 1, 2014 at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA.  The theme is God has begun a Great Work in Us: The Embodiment of Love in Contemporary Consecrated Life and Ecclesial Movements.  Shannon Schrein, OSF (Lourdes University, OH) and Jason King (Saint Vincent College, PA) are co-editors for the annual volume.

As an important element of the living Church, monastic orders and consecrated religious start with God who calls witnesses to fidelity and mission in the world. The “Great Work” begins and continues through cooperation with God’s grace. We would like to focus on two aspects of this work. 

The first is how monastic and consecrated religious orders have responded to this call and how these orders have adapted to the dynamics of Vatican II, their own charisms, and the surrounding culture. Sr. Sandra Schneiders, Professor Emerita at the Graduate Theological Union, and Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis, former Secretary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, will be keynote speakers on this topic. 

The second aspect concerns ecclesial movements.  The council’s emphasis on the laity opened up opportunities for people to carry out work historically reserved for religious.  The result has been an increase in a number of lay ecclesial movements that draw upon the forms of consecrated life to do specific ministries in the church.  Professor Dennis Doyle from the University of Dayton will be addressing this topic. 

Both aspects are responding to the council’s call found in the Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life (Perfectae Caritatis). The Latin title reflects the council’s impetus to renew the work of love in religious life in the church, through the evangelical counsels.  The conference theme hopes to capture both the history of these ways of life and how they currently attempt to carry out Jesus’ call to love.

The conference will examine topics such as: the origins of consecrated life, its adaptation to particular times and places, its context in the United States or abroad, the history and current reality of religious orders, monasticism, the adaptation of the evangelical counsels and the rules of religious order to Catholic and Protestant lay communities, the emergence of ecclesial movements like the new monasticism, the meaning behind the rise of more traditional forms of religious life, the portrayal of consecrated religious life in film, the investigation of women’s communities in America, the question of authority and LCWR.

The Call for Papers is available at this tab.  Proposals should be 250-500 words in length and include one's current institutional affiliation and position.  Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate conveners no later than Monday, December 16, 2013 for consideration.  Scholars will be notified of the status of their proposals no later than January 15, 2014.  Scholars who are invited to present a paper at a national convention of the College Theology Society MUST be members of the Society as of April 1st.  No person may submit more than one proposal for consideration, and nor will proposals to multiple sections be considered.  These policies will be strictly enforced.

Further questions about our 2014 Annual Convention at Saint Vincent College can be directed to Dave Gentry-Akin, Executive Director of National Conventions, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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