Call for Proposals
This Group invites a range of proposals on four possible areas of focus:
- From fresh expressions to focolare — theology and mission of paraecclesial experiments. As church attendance in many “mainstream” denominations experiences a marked downward turn in many countries, what are the ecclesiological, missionary, and ecumenical implications of the various paraecclesial and transdenominational practices, experiments, and models today? We invite a variety of methodological approaches to reflect upon such ecclesial phenomena in general as well as studies of particular examples, such as Hull House, the Catholic Worker Movement, Focolare, Koinonia Farm in the United States, and analogous experiments elsewhere, both historical and contemporary (e.g., Taize, Christian Ashram Movement, Iona Community, New Monasticism)
- The social gospel in a time of economic crisis — the churches and capitalism today. How are churches called to respond to the present economic signs of the times? Some twenty-six years after the United States Catholic Bishops released Economic Justice for All and a year after the Church of England’s Faith in the City appeared, 2012 also marks the centenary of Walter Rauschenbusch’s Christianizing the Social Order. In that work, Rauschenbusch sets down “the case of Christianity against Capitalism.” What would it mean to work towards what he called a “social awakening of the Churches” in the present economic crisis?
- The history, hermeneutics, and legacy of the Second Vatican Council — for a possible cosponsored session with the new Vatican II Studies Group. This group will pay scholarly attention to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) — one of the most significant events in the history of the Catholic Church, an event that had wide-ranging implications for other faiths, other Christian churches, and for the wider world alike. On one hand, they focus on deepening the understanding of the history of Vatican II, its link with movements of renewal in Catholic theology, and in the Church in the decades prior to Vatican II, the history of the reception of the Council, and the redaction history of the different documents of the Council. On the other hand, they have a strong theological focus and will pay attention both to hermeneutical issues connected to methods of interpreting conciliar teaching and to the interpretation of the most important documents of Vatican II in the year of their anniversary — starting with the liturgical constitution (1963–2013). In looking more closely at the past, this Group hopes to promote conciliarity and synodality in the Christian churches in the present.
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