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Selected Sessions are “one time” program units offered at a particular convention. The CTSA membership is invited to make proposals for the six to nine slots available for Selected Sessions,and these proposals are evaluated by the Program Committee of the Board.

2020 Call for Selection Session Proposals

Convention Theme: "All You Who Labor ..." Theology, Work, and Economy

Session Description: 

The purpose of the Selected Session is to allow CTSA members to define, organize, and propose an ad hoc session for offering at the annual convention and the topic of their choosing. This can include a topic devoted to the convention theme. The statement of the theme on the CTSA website includes a list of possible topics. Here are specific examples:

  • Scriptural treatments and interpretations of work and economy
  • Christianity in Antiquity, work, and economy
  • Historical theological approaches to work and economy: e.g., Early church Eastern & Western fathers and mothers; in reflections on the relationship between the vita activa and the vita contemplativa, in monastic thought and practice [ora et labora]; by saint-exemplars and theologians (e.g. Benedict, Augustine, Aquinas, Orthodox theologians, Calvin, Luther, radical reformers; etc.)
  • Theological Anthropology, work, and economics: e.g., Work as an expression of human dignity; work and creativity; work under fallen/sinful conditions; contrasting assumptions about the human condition/nature in Christianity and various streams of economics; is working an essential dimension of human flourishing?
  • Liturgy, prayer, and work/economy: e.g., approaches from liturgical theology, spiritual and mystical theology, practical theology; ethnographic and comparative religious studies 
  • Classic theological loci (soteriology, God/Trinity, eschatology, etc) as sources/foci for theologies or ethics of work and economy
  • Work, Sabbath, and rest: “Keep Holy the Sabbath” – Catholic, ecumenical, interfaith historical and contemporary perspectives; theologies and ethics of rest from work; implications for education, pastoral ministry, professions; history and contemporary status of Sabbath/Sunday rest norm; Sabbath/Sunday rest as a lost practice, or as a countercultural witness.
  • Time, work, and economy: theological and ethical perspectives
  • Spiritualities of work and rest: monastic or lay, Benedictine or other religious rules, etc., contemporary popular spiritualities (e.g., prosperity gospel movements) 
  • Work and lay, religious, or ordained vocations: historically and in diverse contexts today
  • Ecumenical and/or interreligious perspectives on work and economy, critical or comparative
  • Work- and economy-related dimensions and implications of liberation and political theologies, in particular solidarity and the option for the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable
  • Economy/work and dynamics of power inscribed in relations of class, race/ethnicity/nationality, gender/sexuality  
  • Lay ecclesial movements and communities, work, and economy: e.g., Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin and the Catholic Worker Movement; Focolare Movement and “the economy of gift;” Jose Escriva and the Opus Dei movement; the Sumak Kawsay vision and movement for an economy of life
  • Churches, work, and economy: theological, ethical, and practical issues: e.g., employment and financial practices; decision-making concerning allocation of church resources
  • Ecology/ecological crises, work, and economy, faith communities’ responses to climate change; “Earth Day” at 50 years; potentials and limits of economic strategies for addressing ecological crises; etc.
  • Work and persons with disabilities: practical-theological, ethical, theological analyses
  • Vulnerable immigrant and refugees workers and families, implications and obligations for churches
  • Work and particular professions: theological perspectives on, e.g., lawyering, medicine, teaching, business, etc.; business as a vocation; faith at work initiatives; ethics and theologies of business, corporations
  • The work of the artists, works of art and the creative professions as sources for/ in dialogue with theology; Literary treatments of work and economy as sources for/ in dialogue with theology
  • Women, gender, and work/economy: theological, ethical, interdisciplinary analyses
  • Families and waged work - in recent theology and ethics; historical or interdisciplinary perspectives;
  • Relations between waged and unwaged work in family, local, and wider economies
  • The ‘care economy’ and care work: theological, ethical, interdisciplinary analyses
  • Consumerism, consumerist economies and cultures: and implications for Christian theology and discipleship
  • Money, wealth, and investment: theological, ethical, interdisciplinary treatments
  • Markets and market activities: theological, ethical, cultural, historical perspectives
  • Work in/the economy of the academy and higher education: theological and ethical perspectives on,  e.g. ,changing structure of academic workforce [adjuncts, administrators]; costs and sustainability of [especially Catholic] K-12 and higher education; professional ethics in the academy
  • Philosophical and social-theoretical approaches to work and economy as sources for/ in dialogue with theology
  • Historical and contemporary political economists/schools of economics and work, theological appraisals
  • Moral theological/theological ethical and practical analyses of work and economy:
  • Work justice, labor unions/movements, living wage campaigns; Catholic social teaching/thought and issues surrounding work and economy; Work and professional ethics- business, medical, legal, academic, etc.; Economic exploitation, theft, and corruption of labor and laborers: Theft of work (slavery, wage theft, human trafficking); exploitative and abusive employment, economic, and trade relationships and practices;  Economic Inequality;  Economic Globalization and its impacts on national and local work, consumption, and cultures; Normative and theological features and implications of competing political-economic theories, systems, and arrangements e.g. consumer capitalism; social democracies; etc.; Exclusion and marginalization in economy and workforce; Work and economy in a digital age; Financialization of the economy and its multifarious impacts; Scarcity, reshaping, and/or the ‘disappearance’ of work in 21st century economies; Under- and unemployment rise of contingent, freelance, or gig economies; displaced workers and immigration, homelessness
  • The clergy abuse crisis in the Catholic church: economic and professional (work) effects and implications
  • Our work as theologians, and our work as a Society in light of contemporary ecclesial, cultural, economic, and/or political exigencies and needs, with special attention to vulnerable and marginalized persons and groups


Submission Guidelines (Board Rev. 6.6.19)

  • Proposal should be not more than 250 words.
  • Also include a 100-words précis that will be posted on the CTSA website if the proposal is accepted. If the proposal includes multiple presenters, each presenter must include a 100-word précis for their paper.
  • There may be no more than three speakers (presenters or respondents) in a given session.
  • Include full name and contact information of all participants, including e-mail.
  • Indicate whether your presenters will be requiring A/V equipment.
  • Proposals for selected sessions must also have a convener and moderator identified. The convener serves as the contact person for communications with the President-Elect in planning the convention and is responsible for submitting a report to the Proceedings editor after the convention. The moderator facilitates the session and Q&A at the convention.
  • The convener and the moderator should be two different persons and must be CTSA members in good standing or have a membership application on file.
  • The session convener may also serve as a presenter, but a non-presenter is expected to serve as the moderator.
  • Selected session proposals are expected to include a convener and moderator who do not already have other roles (speaking or non-speaking) at the convention. By the time selected session proposals are due, all other sessions (Topic Sessions, Consultations, and Interest Groups) will have specified papers for the convention. By avoiding having members serve in multiple roles, scheduling conflicts can be prevented or reduced when arranging the convention program. It also allows more members to participate in the convention with their name on the program, which may help them secure funding from their home institution. 
  • At the annual convention, members may only have one speaking role as presenters, panelists, or respondents. This rule does not apply to members of under-represented groups, though it does apply to participation in the Women’s Consultation on Constructive Theology.
  • No member may have a speaking role more than twice in any three-year period.
  • No one currently serving a two-year term on the board or in the presidential line should participate in a selected session.
  • CTSA guidelines require that those making proposals ordinarily be active or associate members in good standing with their dues paid up-to-date. Anyone with an associate or active membership application on file can also submit a proposal if they expect to be accepted for membership in the upcoming June convention.
  • Deadline: October 1st. Please submit proposals to the President-Elect via this email address: convention.ctsa@gmail.com. Please indicate that the proposal is for a Selected Session. You will be notified by e-mail whether your proposal has been accepted by November 1st.

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