Michael W. Cooper, S.J., Saint Leo University (Florida)

The theme for the 2017 Annual Convention, “American Catholicism in the 21st Century: Crossroads, Crisis, or Renewal,” offers fabulous opportunities to name, explore, and develop aspect of American Catholic Spirituality. Like in Theology, the energy and creativity in all aspects of Spirituality has emigrated from Europe to the United States. Our research and development of aspects of American Catholic Spirituality promise exciting conversation during the Conference as well as solid contributions for the Local Church as well as for the Church Universal. For almost two centuries the American wisdom and praxis in spirituality has been discounted and looked at askance. Now is the Kairos opportunity to step up to the plate with contributions helping the Academy, the classroom, and  the People of God Universal to  appreciate the great and memorable past, the vibrant presence, and the  hope-ful future of American Catholic Spirituality. The following topics are meant to stimulate our creative labors regarding individuals, schools, and the overall American experience of Spirituality:

  • ·      Was there, is there, will there be an American Catholic Spirituality—perhaps reflected in particular individuals [John Carroll, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, Thomas Merton, the Berrigan Brothers, Mother Seton and other American founders, and many others], in schools of spirituality [Ignatian, Benedictine, Catholic Family Movement {CFM} and other lay movements], and in events/experiences [the American Revolution, Trusteeism, the Civil War, the Peace and Economic Pastorals, etc]?
  • ·      Given the very activist vision and praxis of many American Catholics, is there truly an American Public/Social Spirituality?
  • ·      In a nation molded by Thomas Merton, is there an American Contemplative School/Spirituality?
  • ·      Was/is there an influence of American Catholic Spirituality on Vatican II and/or similarly the influence of Vatican II on American Catholic Spirituality?
  • ·      Are there ties in American Catholic Spirituality to Liberation Theology and Spirituality?
  • ·      How have American movements in Psychology, including the influences of Freud and Jung, impacted the understanding and praxis of American Catholic Spirituality?
Other proposals relating to Spirituality are also welcome but a first preference will be given to topics directly related to this year’s Conference Theme.

The College Theology Society is a registered, non-profit professional society and a Related Scholarly Organization of the American Academy of Religion.

Email: secretary@collegetheology.org

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