2020 Call for Papers Now Available!

Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Canadian Theological Society 2020 Annual Meeting

Monday, June 1 – Wednesday, June 3, 2020
University of Western Ontario. London, Ontario


The theme for the Canadian Theological Society for 2020 is “Bridging Divides.” This theme emphasizes the importance of confronting what prevents Canadians from building lasting, meaningful and life-giving relationships with one another. In the Americas (so-called “new world”), settler colonialism—part of a broader imperial project—has through the forceful exercise of white privilege and supremacy enslaved Africans and strove to erase Indigenous peoples by appropriating land and delegitimizing traditional knowledge. These colonial projects continue to be met by cultures of resilience and resistance. Particular attention will therefore be devoted to productive scholarly discussion of the lived experiences and constructive perspectives shared and advanced by Indigenous peoples and African Canadians.


Alongside its peer disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, theology is invited to open up much-needed space for transformative dialogue, debate, and dissent, and showcase creative critical engagements within and across disciplines. With this year’s annual meeting, the Canadian Theological Society thus wishes more broadly to foster and encourage critical reflection among scholars, educators, students, ordained, religious and lay leaders, activists, and the public at large, on the nature, sources and implications of current social, ethnic, political and epistemological divisions (especially as these relate to theological and religious teaching and practice), in the hope of contributing to the formation of a future vision that bridges divides between divergent ways of knowing and navigating our world.


Theological reflection on this theme includes, for example, the role religion and theology played in the emergence and persistence of settler colonialism, anti-black racism, white privilege and supremacy within and beyond communities of faith, as well as the conditions enabling transformational truth-telling fostering authentic healing and reconciliation. A third theme may involve pedagogical and ministerial resources enabling theological scholarship to find new ways to raise critical awareness and advocacy contributing to a fuller understanding and the overcoming of settler colonialism, white privilege and supremacy in their many expressions and embodiments (such as patriarchy, androcentrism, sexism, racism, classism, militarism, etc.).


We welcome theological papers from all religious traditions, and especially seek those that engage Indigenous and African traditions as lived and taught in Canadian contexts. Given the theme of conversation, we also are particularly eager to explore theologies outside of mainstream Christianity, including postcolonial, feminist, environmental and animal studies.


We also welcome proposals on other topics in theology, and in all of the theological disciplines, including pastoral, systematic, philosophical and moral theology. The Canadian Theological Society is committed to providing fair representation of Canadian diversity within and beyond the theological community. Women, Indigenous and African-Canadian scholars as well as competent members of other underrepresented groups are therefore especially enjoined to submit proposals.


The Canadian Theological Society invites proposals pertaining to these and related themes in two formats:


1. 20/20 Presentations

We will again follow the 20/20 format used in previous years, inviting presentations of twenty minutes with twenty minutes of discussion to follow. Typically the presentation will be an account of a larger research project. Since members work in a variety of fields and specializations, attention should be given to presenting advanced work in an accessible way.



Submit a proposal that includes:

  • Title of presentation;
  • Proposal of a maximum 300-400 words (with word count), which includes an abstract, the problem your scholarship engages, and the contribution you plan to make;
  • Requests for audio-visual equipment (A/V equipment will be available only if it is requested in the proposal);
  • Indication of openness to giving the presentation as part of a roundtable session;
  • On a separate page, please include:
    • Presenter’s name, institution or professional affiliation, and contact information.

2. Panels

We invite panels on issues that are relevant to members, especially as related to the theme of the annual meeting. Panel proposals should be developed to foster dialogue among the panelists and with those attending in the audience. Thus, we discourage panels that consist only of reading several papers.



Submit a proposal that includes:

  • Title of panel;
  • Length of panel (40 or 80 minutes);
  • Proposal of a maximum 300-400 words (with word count), which includes an abstract, the problem your scholarship engages, the contribution you plan to make, and how you plan to foster dialogue among panelists and audience (e.g., use and allotment of time);
  • Requests for audio-visual equipment (A/V equipment will be available only if it is requested in the proposal);
  • On a separate page, please include:
    • Convener’s name, institution, and contact information.  The convener will be the link between the panel and the CTS;
    • Names, institutions and contact information of all members of the panel;
    • Either the name and contact information of the moderator, or a request that CTS provide a moderator.


All proposals should be submitted in a Word or pdf file by email attachment by January 31, 2020, 5 p.m. ET to: canadiantheologicalsociety@gmail.com


We will confirm receipt of all proposals submitted by email.  If you do not receive such an email confirmation within three days of submitting your proposal, contact Jean-Pierre Fortin at jeanpierre.fortin@utoronto.ca.


Selection Criteria

In selecting proposals for 20/20 presentations or for panels, the committee will consider:

  • The clarity and significance of the proposal;
  • The quality of the contribution to scholarship;
  • The relationship of the presentation to the thematic focus of the annual meeting;
  • The contribution of the presentation to a diversity of perspectives and approaches;
  • The potential for inspiring discussion and engagement among the members.

Our goal as a Society is to foster collegial discussion of members’ work and of the work of other Canadian theologians. All presenters and attendees are encouraged to participate in as much of the program as possible. All presenters must be members in good standing of the CTS prior to the Annual Meeting. Theology and Religious Studies students are encouraged to participate in the Student Essay Contest by submitting the complete text of their presentation (please see details and other requirements on separate handout). We welcome all members, students, and other interested persons to join us this year at the annual meeting in London, Ontario.