The College Theology Society

 Serving Church and Academy Since 1954

American Catholic Life and Thought

Paul G. Monson, Sacred Heart Seminary & School of Theology (Wisconsin)

Louis Albarran, Holy Cross College (Indiana)

The American Catholic Life and Thought section welcomes papers that address all aspects of American Catholic theology, history, and culture. The convention theme for 2019, “‘All the Ends of the Earth’: Challenge and Celebration of Global Catholicism,” presents a prime opportunity for scholars to revisit Bill Poitier’s 2017 CTS Presidential Address on “America” as a hemispheric reality that transcends national barriers. This provocative definition of America as “one continent” emerges in Pope St. John Paul II’s Ecclesia in America (1999), an idea that Pope Francis further echoed in his historic address to Congress in 2015.

As we reexamine the impact and future of a “global” Church, we welcome studies that wrestle with the question, “What is ‘America,’ anyway?” How has this question informed American Catholic narratives in the past, and how does it challenge or nuance the relationship between U.S. Catholicism and the global Church today? We invite colleagues to engage this hemispheric “America” in the context of: (1) immigration and its intergenerational dynamics, especially as lived in New York City; (2) the intercultural exchange of missionaries, including communities originating in the United States (e.g., the Sisters of Charity, Maryknoll, etc.); (3) the role of politics in American Catholic perceptions of the global Church, particularly through the United Nations; and (4) the global “sins” that continue to haunt the Church in America, including colonialism, slavery, racism, and sexual abuse. Other questions or topics are also welcome. We likewise encourage the proposal of panels that can offer a range of perspectives.

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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