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Annual Convention

at Rockhurst University (Kansas City, Missouri)

Thursday June 2-Sunday June 5, 2016




The College Theology Society holds its Sixty-Second Annual Convention from Thursday evening, June 2 through Sunday morning, June 5, 2016, at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.


LITURGY + POWER

Convention Theme


In Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Council declared that “the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows.” (§10) The liturgy is a crucial location of praxis and theological reflection, and in its various forms it also raises numerous questions about power, human and divine, in the Christian life.  The 2016 Annual Convention of the College Theology Society hopes to explore the intersections of liturgy and power in ecclesiology, in the relation of the church and the world, and in our understanding of God.


In recent years, questions of ecclesial authority and power within the church have come to the forefront in and through questions of liturgical practice. Questions of liturgical translations and rites, of the regulation of communion, of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and of the qualifications for ordination to the diaconate and presbyterate all raise ecclesiological questions about the positive and negative dimensions of power in the structures of the church.


Liturgical practice is also one of the ways in which the church affects, and is affected by, the world. The liturgy, and particularly the Eucharist, has been a source of power for upbuilding the church, supporting families and communities, and critiquing unjust structures and situations in the world. Liturgy has often been a source of power in relation to injustice based on race, gender, and other characteristics – sometimes by critiquing and catalyzing the breakdown of unjust systems, and sometimes by reinforcing unjust systems of domination.


Finally, though perhaps most importantly, liturgy is a place of encounter with the power of God. The sacraments reveal who God is and who humanity is in relation to God. The Trinitarian rhythm of prayer to the Father through the Son and in the Spirit reveals something of the Mystery of God and God’s power. The liturgy is never “just” liturgy, then, but a privileged source for theological reflection and for reflection upon Christian life and spirituality.


These three broad areas of inquiry – liturgical practice and ecclesial structures, liturgy in the relation of the church and the world, and the liturgy in relation to God and God’s power – will provide a wide field in which our meeting can explore other questions. In all three there are numerous possibilities for interreligious explorations of the role of ritual in negotiating the relations between communities, theology, and power. Historical, sociological, and anthropological studies of liturgy are also all relevant areas for fruitful investigation and collaboration.

We invite sections to consider calls that will treat liturgy and topics pertaining to liturgy in a broad sense including sacraments and sacramentality, ritual, pilgrimage, procession, ritual patronage, para-liturgies, liturgical and sacred art and architecture, liturgical music, dance, liturgy and spiritual formation, and theoretical analyses relating memory, narrative, movement, space, race and ethnicity, and/or gender to any of these or other aspects of liturgical life.  We encourage engagement with the expansive field of historical and theoretical inquiry regarding power, including ecclesial and hierarchical power, the various dynamics of gender and power, power regarding race and privilege, power in colonial and post-colonial situations, post-modern and post-structuralist analyses of power, psychological, sociological, and anthropological understandings of interpersonal and communal power, and power relating to friendship, sex, marriage, family, and child-rearing. 


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The Call for Papers will be available here on or about September 15, 2015.  Proposals should be 250-500 words in length and include one’s current institutional affiliation and position.  Proposals should be submitted to the appropriate conveners no later than Monday, December 14, 2015.  Scholars will be notified of the status of their proposals by Monday, January 18, 2016.

Scholars who are invited to present their work at a national convention of the College Theology Society must be current members of the CTS no later than April 1, 2016 in order to appear in the program.  No person may submit more than one proposal for consideration and nor will submissions to multiple sections be considered.  These policies will be strictly enforced.


The first draft of the Convention Program will be available on March 15, 2016, and online registration will also open at that time.


The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion will once again be joining us this year.


Further questions about our 2015 Annual Convention at the University of Portland can be directed to Dave Gentry-Akin, Executive Director of National Conventions, at dgentry@stmarys-ca.edu.

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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