Author: theologicalnews

Call for Papers – International Wolfhart Pannenberg Symposium: 24–26 April, 2024

The International Wolfhart Pannenberg Symposium and the research project Talking about Divine Action are pleased to announce a call for papers exploring the concept of divine action in dialogue with Wolfhart Pannenberg.

The talk of God as agent is at the center of Christian theology and practice, but at the same time it is also the point where basic theological programs show deepest differences. After the topic had been the subject of intensive interdisciplinary research for several decades, its complex theological and philosophical presuppositions as well as questions of theological relevance have recently moved into the center of attention. Wolfhart Pannenberg stands out amongst contemporary theologians who have dealt with these issues. Ten years after his death, the impulses of his work for contemporary debate are ripe for further development.

The following key questions, among others, are helpful as starting points for the discussion with Pannenberg.

  • In what sense is it correct to talk about God as an agent? Is it for example plausible to say that God has intentions or capacities such as will and reason? Which concept of personhood is in the background of such a speech?
  • Are there better conceptual alternatives to “God’s action” that adequately describe God’s relationship to the world?
  • What is the relationship between analogy and doxology in the speech about God’s action? How are subject- or event-hermetical interpretations to be evaluated?
  • What possibilities for thinking from the theological tradition have not yet been sufficiently exhausted?
  • How does the notion of God as agent do justice to its trinitarian-theological context?
  • Is the idea of God’s action compatible with historiographical principles and sufficiently reflected hermeneutically? Moreover, is it fruitful for exegesis or church history? What are the possibilities and limits of speaking of God’s revelation in history?
  • Which possibilities of thinking that have been worked out in the science-and-religion-dialogue are also theologically fruitful and which are not?
  • Societally, few would say that our contemporary situation is not one marked by crisis all around the world.How are we to interpret the nature and implications of divine action along all these lines? Does the idea of God’s action exacerbate the problem of theodicy, or does it rather offer the possibility of coping with it?Or both?
  • Does it make sense to abandon a predicate such as “simplicity” or to transform “infinity” into an adverbial phrase (e.g., God being “infinitely good”) from a theological or philosophical perspective?

The research project “Talking about Divine action” (Tübingen) is pleased to announce a call for papers in cooperation with the “International Wolfhart Pannenberg Symposium”, exploring the questions raised in dialogue with the theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg. We welcome proposals on a wide range of topics on this fertile area of conversation concerning divine action and welcome all topics showing how Pannenberg’s conception of divine action can assist us in a variety of contexts as we make further progress in the world.

Proposals for papers should be no more than 500 words and will be evaluated on the contribution that they could make to the conversation, the clarity of the proposed research plan, and their significance for the field. Proposals should be received by 31 July, 2023 to receive full consideration. Email proposals to

Selected proposals will be presented at a conference at the University of Tübingen on 24-26 April, 2024.

After a proposal has been accepted, financial support for the participation in the conference can be applied for. We would particularly like to support those researchers who do not have their own funds with regard to flights and hotel accommodation. While we welcome attendance in person from all who are interested, proposals for papers to be delivered via virtual meeting will also be considered. At the conference, further plans and possibilities for cooperation on Wolfhart Pannenberg’s theology will be discussed.

CFP – The Last of Us: Violence, Ethics, Redemption? (Lexington Books, Theology, Religion, & Pop Culture series)

Dr. Peter Admirand, Dublin City University, is editing a book within the Lexington Books/Fortress Academic Press series (Theology, Religion, and Pop Culture). The book is titled: The Last of Us: Violence, Ethics, Redemption? More details available here. The book examines ethical and theological themes in The Last of Us television show and video games.

Proposals are due 26 June 2023 and can be sent to

General info on the series can be found here. : Theology, Religion, and Pop Culture. Information about the editor can be found here: Dr Peter Admirand, Dublin City University

The Last of Us, The Last of Us: Left Behind (DLC) and The Last of Us Part II video games embody sustained critical and commercial success, and are some of the most important genre-defining video games of the last decade. The new HBO Series has followed this trend with some 8.2 million viewers of Season One’s finale. The Last of Us universe is steeped in rich, complex narrative; thick, round characters; gorgeous and layered imagery; and gameplay that invites nuanced and creative, sometimes deeply harrowing and questionable, moral complicity. Tied in with the present HBO Series and the next planned video game installment (not to mention online multiplayer modes, the comic tie-in, American Dreams, and the two books on The Art of the Last of Us), an edited collection on The Last of Us universe begs for astute theological, philosophical, literary, and ethical analysis.

Drawing upon The Last of Us universe, possible topics and chapters could include:

  • The limits of forgiveness (and revenge)
  • The fine line between murder and self-defence
  • The portrayal (or absence) of God and religion
  • Survival v. living v. living morally
  • The (im)possibility of non-violence or pacifism
  • Victim/perpetrator ambiguity
  • Parenting amidst distress and through impending and real loss (death of Sarah)
  • Joel and Ellie’s growing adopted father/daughter relationship
  • Comparisons with other dystopian texts/films
  • The portrayal of non-human animals (giraffe scene)
  • Examination of moral catharsis and/or ultimate evil
  • Human Nature, Evil, and Theodicy
  • Choosing personal happiness at the cost of the greater good
  • Gender and body shaming (particularly as related to The Last of Us Part II)
  • Treatment of LGBQI themes and characters
  • Violent Video Games and Complicity (especially regarding narrative choices in The Last of Us Part II—playing as Abbie after the murder of Joel, for example, or playing as a vengeance-filled Ellie)
  • On false and real hope amid dystopia
  • Corporate America, despotic governments, and Clickers—and other evils
  • The Ethics of Love and relationships despite Runners and Stalkers
  • Role of brothers (Joel and Tommy) – or family and friendship in general during great travail
  • Predicted character arcs for (the hoped-for/expected) The Last of Us 3
  • Examination of background imagery/architecture as moral and symbolic codes
  • Role of class, race, ethnicity, and other identity markers

Contributors will submit abstracts with CVs no later than 26 June 2023 to First drafts will be due by 26 September 2023 (Outbreak Day). Final manuscript will be delivered to publisher by 15 December 2023.

CPF – Journal of Religions (Special Issue): “Theological Metaphysics and Scriptural Interpretation”

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Journal of Religions is pleased to invite you to contribute to a Special Issue entitled “Theological Metaphysics and Scriptural Interpretation”. This edition seeks to facilitate an integration of two constructive theological domains: (i) the function of metaphysics vis à vis the doctrine of God and (ii) the theological interpretation of Scripture.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2024

This Special Issue aims to engage in the methodology of Scriptural interpretation with respect to the underlying metaphysical substructure of that work. The question Jonathan Rowlands has addressed to those engaged in the study of the historical Jesus—namely to examine the underlying metaphysical assumptions of their work—is a question that ought also to be posed to systematic theologians in their interpretation of Scripture. In this, we welcome submissions that enquire into how the work of the theological interpretation of Scripture is affected if approached from, for the sake of argument, the basis of God as pure actuality as opposed to God’s absolute pronobeity (or vice versa). For example: how does the way in which the being of God is held in connection to the history of God’s act affect the way in which the interpreter of Scripture engages with the narrative of Scripture? Or, if God is God for us without remainder, then how does Scripture function in relation to the interpreter?

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • The relationship between metaphysics and the doctrine of God.
  • The intersection of the doctrine of God and Scriptural interpretation.
  • The role of metaphysical presuppositions in Scriptural interpretation.
  • Constructive proposals for theological interpretation of Scripture from a range of perspectives regarding the relationship between metaphysics and the doctrine of God.
  • Constructive proposals concerning the relationship between metaphysics and historiography (with particular attention to historiographical questions concerning Jesus of Nazareth).

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Alex Irving
Dr. Chris Tilling
Dr. Jonny Rowlands
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alex Irving E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

St Mellitus College, East Midlands, Leicester LE1 5PZ, UK
Interests: historical theology (4th century trinitarian theology; 20th century theology); doctrine of god; christology

Dr. Chris Tilling E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

St Mellitus College, East Midlands, Leicester LE1 5PZ, UK
Interests: christology; the trinity; the apostle paul and his theology; historical-critical exegesis; theology of scripture

Dr. Jonny Rowlands E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

St Mellitus College, East Midlands, Leicester LE1 5PZ, UK
Interests: theological hermeneutics; historical Jesus research; the doctrine of scripture; the book of Hebrews

Louisville Institute – Doctoral Fellowships Opportunity

(All content below is copy-pasted from the Louisville Institute site – click here. )

The Doctoral Fellowship program invites current Ph.D./Th.D. students to consider theological education as their vocation. Fellows receive US $3,000 each year for two years, and join with a peer cohort of other fellows for three formational gatherings each year as part of the Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative (VTE).


Application due date: March 1, 2024 (11:59 p.m. EDT)

Doctoral Fellowship amount: US $3,000 each year for 2 years

Fellowship timeframe: Fall 2024 — Spring 2026

Awards announced: May 15, 2024

Vocation of the Theological Educator Gatherings: October 2024; February, May & October 2025; and February & May 2026

What are Doctoral Fellowships?

The Louisville Institute Doctoral Fellowship program invites current Ph.D. and Th.D. students in their first or second year of doctoral study to consider theological education as a vocation. Applicants are typically scholars studying Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, religious trends and movements, Christian and other faith-based institutions, and religion and social issues. As part of the Louisville Institute’s Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative (VTE), Louisville Institute Doctoral Fellows participate in intentional, focused, professional formation as they explore a calling to be a theological educator.

The Louisville Institute understands theological education broadly, encompassing the academic study and teaching of religion and its practices, as well as formation for ministry, leadership, social justice and public service, nonprofit and other agency work, etc. Preference for fellowships is given to doctoral students who demonstrate an interest in theological education as a vocation, who express an understanding of the current challenges and opportunities of theological education, and who articulate connections between their doctoral work and these trends and dynamics.

As Doctoral Fellows, students receive a US$3,000 grant each year for two years, and join with a peer cohort of other fellows for three formational gatherings each year (October, February, and May) as part of the Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative (VTE). All expenses for participating in the VTE gatherings, held in Louisville, KY, are covered by the Louisville Institute.

What do I need to know to apply?

Who is eligible for a Doctoral Fellowship?

Eligible applicants:

  • are students in their first or second year of a Ph.D. or Th.D. program at the time they apply
  • attend an accredited graduate school in the United States or Canada
  • are U.S. or Canadian citizens or international students with appropriate student visas to study in North America
  • come from diverse fields such as history, systematic and practical theology, pastoral studies, social sciences, ethics, or biblical studies, or bring interdisciplinary approaches to their scholarship

If you have previously received another Louisville Institute grant, you are eligible and encouraged to apply, but all program and financial reports for any earlier grants must be submitted by July 1. Please note other provisions at the bottom of this page.

If you have questions about eligibility or other stipulations of the fellowship, please email

What are VTE Gatherings?

Three times a year (October, February, & May), LI Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows gather in Louisville, KY, for vocational and professional formation, relationship building, and mutual support as part of the Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative (VTE). With their cohorts, fellows engage vocational questions about theological education, discernment, leadership, pedagogy, mentoring, research and writing, employment and tenure, public theology, guild participation, and other relevant issues. Through peer learning and in conversation with mentor-facilitators and invited resource persons, fellows together create space for dialogue, imagination, collegiality, and growth within and across the academy and the church. All expenses for participation in the VTE gatherings are covered by the Louisville Institute.

How do I apply?


  • Read all the application materials and eligibility requirements on this page thoroughly, and refer to them as you complete your application.
  • Create an online profile on our application portal. You will be asked to provide your name, contact information, and other details about yourself. If you have previously applied for a Louisville Institute program, make sure to update your contact information.
  • Once you have created your profile, click the “Apply” button and select “Doctoral Fellowship” to begin entering the elements of your application. NOTE: Application portal opens June 1, 2023 for 2024 Doctoral Fellowship applications.
  • Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST March 1, 2024. We recommend that you put together the application elements in time to share them with friends or colleagues for feedback before submitting them. Please do your best to provide clear, refined, and edited documents, noting which elements should be submitted as PDFs.
  • Recommendation letters are due from your recommenders March 8, 2024. In the application portal you will be asked to provide contact information for your recommenders — name, email address, and phone number — and we will send them a link to upload their letters.


Doctoral Fellowship applications require the following elements. After you have created your online profile, you will be prompted to provide the following:

  1. General information about your doctoral progress to date, including:
    • The focus or subject of your anticipated dissertation research
    • Your academic discipline/field
    • Your doctoral progress: the dates you anticipate completing your coursework, comprehensive or qualifying exams, and approval of your dissertation proposal or thesis topic.
  1. Application essay: The Louisville Institute Doctoral Fellowship is part of the Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative, and its intent is to help early career scholars consider theological education as their vocation or calling. In an essay of no more than 1500 words (5–7 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font), describe why theological education has been important to you, why you have chosen to pursue a doctoral degree related to religion, and what you see as your vocational trajectory. From your perspective and social context, reflect on current dynamics and realities of theological education and the church, the possibilities and challenges ahead, and how you see your gifts, skills, and academic goals within this larger context. In this essay, we are more interested in your ideas, analysis, and passion for theological education than a recitation of your resume. Include your name on each page of the essay, number the pages, and upload the document as a PDF. (Note: The Louisville Institute understands theological education broadly, encompassing the academic study and teaching of religion and its practices, as well as formation for ministry, leadership, social justice and public service, nonprofit and other agency work, etc.)
  2. Doctoral transcript: One transcript (unofficial or official) from your doctoral program to date must be sent by email to OR via transcript service to the same email. Please include your name and name of fellowship program in the subject line of the email. Transcripts are due with the application, so make sure to request them in advance so they are received in time.
  3. Curriculum vitae or resume: Provide a PDF of your CV or resume (no more than four pages) that includes:
    • Institutions of higher education you’ve attended and degrees earned, including dates, starting with the most recent
    • Teaching and/or employment experience, starting with the most recent
    • Major academic honors you’ve received
    • Titles and citations of your publications, starting with the most recent
    • Other relevant experience that will help the selection committee get to know you, such as church leadership, guild membership, volunteer service, etc.
  4. Two letters of recommendation due from the recommenders March 8: In the online application portal, you will be asked to provide contact information (name, email address, and phone number) for your recommenders, who will be sent a link by email through which they can upload letters. As soon as you submit contact information, your recommender will automatically receive the email. Make sure to contact your recommenders in advance to explain the fellowship and to share your application materials.
    • Faculty mentor/advisor letter of recommendation: Your first letter of recommendation should come from your faculty mentor/advisor who will be asked to assess your doctoral work thus far, your vocational interest in theological education, and your promise as a teacher and scholar.
    • Second letter of recommendation: Your second letter of recommendation should come from an academic mentor or colleague who can speak to your scholarly promise and assess the quality of your doctoral work and research. In addition, this recommender will be asked to comment on your personal qualities and commitments, including engagement with faith communities, if applicable.

We will notify you via email when we receive the letters from your recommenders.


All elements of the application, including transcripts, must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 1, 2024, except the recommendation letters, which are due from the recommenders March 8, 2024. You can edit all portions of your application until the deadline, after which changes cannot be made. Late applications will not be accepted.

In the week after the application deadline, LI staff will process the applications to prepare for the selection committee. We will follow up with you if your application is incomplete. We will also send you confirmation when we receive your letters of recommendation, and will email you when your application is complete.

If you have questions or encounter problems with the application, email

What is the selection process for Doctoral Fellowship?

Every year the Louisville Institute appoints a selection committee to review proposals and award Doctoral Fellowships. All applicants will be notified as soon as possible following the selection process, which usually takes place about 8 weeks after the application due date. Awards will be announced publicly on or before May 15, 2024. Fellowship funds are dispersed in September of the award year.

We are often asked how many applications we receive for our fellowships. For each of the last several years of the Doctoral Fellowship, we have received about 60 eligible applications and have awarded 10 fellowships.

What else do I need to know?

Because the Louisville Institute is housed at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, members of the seminary’s Board, staff, or student body or their immediate family members (parents, spouse, or children) are not eligible for LI grants or fellowships. Applicants may not submit applications to more than one Louisville Institute grant or fellowship program within the same grant year (June 1–May 31).

Louisville Institute grantees and fellows may not simultaneously hold two individual grants from Lilly Endowment-funded organizations that together total more than US$45,000.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions — send us an email at

Rutgers Analytic Theology Seminar – CFP Deadline Oct 15, 2023.

The Rutgers Analytic Theology Seminar solicits abstracts for papers in analytic theology, for a conference to be held March 10-12, 2024, at Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus. Papers are welcome in all areas of analytic theology, including analytical historical theology. Abstracts should be a maximum of 500 words in length, and should be prepared for blind review. Those sending abstracts should specify whether the final paper will be colloquium (3000 word) or symposium (4-5000 word) length. At most one paper will be accepted for a submitted symposium; some who send an abstract for a symposium slot may be offered a colloquium slot instead. Some whose papers are not accepted may be offered commentator slots. All sessions will be single-reader; there will be no “panels.”

Abstracts are due by October 15, to frederick.choo AT Decisions will be announced by December 1.

Keynote and symposium sessions will be read-ahead, with commentators. Colloquium papers will be read out, and may or may not have commentators. Keynote and symposium sessions may last 90 minutes or two hours; colloquium sessions will be one hour. Keynote speakers will be Thomas McCall (Asbury), Samuel Lebens (Haifa), and Hud Hudson (Western Washington).

Further information on the conference will be forthcoming.

Call for Submissions – Doxology Journal vol 34.

Doxology: a journal of worship and the sacramental life is seeking submissions for upcoming issues. Founded in 1984, Doxology is a journal published by the Order of Saint Luke (OSL Publications) containing both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed content. Distribution is to a number of university and seminary libraries in the United States, individual subscribers, and the members of the Order globally. In addition to peer-reviewed articles, Doxology also publishes newly written liturgical material, hymn texts and sacred poetry, sacred visual art, book reviews, and screen reviews. 

Articles intended for peer-review should deal with some practice or theology of Christian worship or the sacramental life, and should normally be between 6000-7000 words in length. Articles not intended for peer review can be of various lengths. Complete writing guidelines and a style sheet can be found on the OSL Publications website:  

Submission deadlines for Volume 34 are as follows:

  • 34.1 (Lent-Easter 2023): February 26, 2023
  • 34.2 (Pentecost 2023): April 16, 2023
  • 34.3 (Ordinary Time 2023): July 23, 2023
  • 34.4 (Advent-Christmas 2023): September 10, 2023

Submissions of articles, liturgical material, poems, visual art and any questions may be sent to the Editor of Doxology, Br. Jonathan Hehn, OSL, at Please submit all material in the form of an email attachment (.docx, .odt, or .rtf file format for documents, .jpg or .pdf format for images). 

Those interested in submitting book reviews should please contact Sr. Sarah Mount Elewononi, OSL, at Those interested in submitting screen reviews should please contact Sr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson, OSL, at Hymns and songs should be submitted to Kelly Grooms at Musical scores should be submitted both in an image format (such as a pdf) and in a MusicXML format. 

Thanks in advance for your submissions, and for sharing this email with your students and colleagues.

Call for Applications: Psychology Cross-Training Fellowship Opportunity for Theologians – Mar 27, 2023 Deadline.

Call for applications: Psychology Cross-Training Fellowship Programme for Theologians

The University of Birmingham is running a 16-month fellowship program for theologians to help them engage with psychological science in their research.  These fellowships are designed to provide the opportunity for theologians to break down disciplinary barriers and engage more deeply with psychological research to further theological exploration and practice. The fellowships will offer support for theologians to participate in an intensive 16-month programme in psychological cross-training, equipping them with the skills to draw upon insights from psychology and potentially providing them with funding to undertake psychologically informed theological research. The fellowships will build a community of science-engaged theologians who will be able to work independently or collaboratively to undertake new research, develop teaching materials incorporating psychological science, and raise the profile of this area of enquiry.  Fellows will have the opportunity to take part in 2 residential workshops, work with psychologist mentors, apply for a £20,000 research project (open only to project fellows), and more.  

The deadline for applications is March 27th, 2023.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in (or if you know someone who would be), you can find more details here:, or email Dr. Carissa Sharp at @  

Submitted by:
Dr Carissa Sharp
Assistant Professor of Psychology of Religion
Co-Principal Investigator: International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society
Co-Investigator: Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum – Global Perspectives
University of Birmingham

Open Theology – Call for Papers – “Religion & Spirituality in Everyday Life” Submission Deadline:

“Open Theology” ( invites submissions for the topical issue “Religion and Spirituality in Everyday Life,” edited by Joana Bahia (State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Cecilia Bastos (National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil María Pilar García Bossio, UCA-CONICET, Argentina)


This Special Issue seeks to put in dialogue research focusing on religious and spiritual practices that take place outside institutional frameworks and in people’s everyday lives. We are interested in the presence of new spiritualities in daily life, whether understood as re-readings or even breaks from religious traditions. Typically, the category of spirituality refers to reinterpretations of spiritual disciplines from external historical-spatial contexts. However, here we understand them also as appropriations of institutionalised religions that are practiced outside their typical frameworks and, also, possible analogue configurations, but which are understood, implicitly or explicitly, as not religious. 

We invite researchers to submit papers that contribute to the reflection about the places and contexts where religious and spiritual experiences take place in contemporary societies, which will contribute to widening the limits of what we call “religion” today. We expect to receive contributions that analyse some of the following topics: 

  • Manifestations of religious nature or resemblance, such as sacralisation and rituals, that take place outside “temples” and in everyday life. 
  • Interpretations and appropriations of religious and/or spiritual symbols in non-traditional practice contexts. 
  • Uses and negotiations of the categories of religion and spirituality in specific contexts. 
  • Ways in which the religious and/or spiritual shape or transform tangible or intangible heritage in public and private space. 


Submissions will be collected until May 15, 2023, via the on-line submission system at  

Choose as article type: “Religion and Spirituality in Everyday Life”  

Before submission the authors should carefully read the Instruction for Authors, available at:  

All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.  

Further questions about content for this thematic issue can be addressed to Guillermo Andrés Duque Silva at Technical or financial questions can be directed to journal Managing Editor Katarzyna Tempczyk at  

Journal of Biblical & Theological Studies – CPF on Ecclesiology. Submission Deadline, Dec 1, 2023

The Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies, a peer-reviewed, open access journal, invites scholarly submissions for a forthcoming issue on Ecclesiology. JBTS is an interdenominational, broadly evangelical journal that seeks to provide high-level scholarship to both scholars and students. In this special issue, we seek a broad engagement with the Doctrine of the Church. Potential topics can range from the church’s identity, its mission and/or how the church relates to the state and society, its sacraments, its unity and diversity, catholicity, ecumenism, or practical concerns that today’s church encounters.

For inquires, contributors may reach out to justin.mclendon AT 

Deadline for submission is 12/1/2023.

Invitation link can be found here.

Article guidelines can be found here.

Call for Abstracts: Theology, Religion, and Dungeons & Dragons (Feb 15 Deadline)

Dungeons & Dragons is a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) that was created in 1974 and popularized in the 1970’s and 1980’s, though it has found a renaissance in contemporary popular culture due in part to its prominent role in the Netflix series Stranger Things. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in virtual Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) gaming via work-from-home platforms such as Zoom; from their living rooms, people across the world would work in the virtual office by day and venture into the fantasy worlds of D&D by evening. Additionally, the rising popularity of live-streamers and groups with enormous followings, such as Critical Role, underscores the prominent role that the game continues to hold with tabletop gamers and speaks to the diverse manners in which D&D is enjoyed.

The fantasy worlds of D&D are replete with religious imagery and rely on the theological imagination. Real-world theological and religious concepts and ideas inform this theological imagination, placing human players in foreign yet familiar settings. Guidebooks provide source material for religious and belief structures, as well as deities and player classes that engage both religion and theology. D&D utilizes theology and religion in its expansive mythos, worldbuilding, and everyday experiences of adventures.

The editors gladly invite submissions on, but not limited to, the topics below for a volume on the intersections of academic disciplines of theology, religious studies, and the creative world of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), to be published in the Theology, Religion, and Popular Culture book series. Interested authors should send chapter abstracts of 300-700 words, along with a CV or resume, to

Methodologies and Approaches: theological, religious, or other disciplines intersecting with some aspect or concepts from the D&D universe. Topics might include:

  • The relationship between theology and role-play for spiritual formation.
  • Pastoral theology: D&D and spiritual care.
  • The three-tiered universe, the sacred canopy, and postmodern epistemology.
  • Gaming or games as spiritual or religious practice.
  • The collaborative roles of the Dungeon Master and players, the roles of clergy and laity.
  • The place of ritual and spellcasting, the place of liturgy and sacrament.
  • Diverse theological systems, henotheism, polytheism, etc. and D&D pantheons.
  • Mythology and formation: understanding the structuring role of narrative.
  • Existentialism, adventuring, and the quest for meaningful living.

Themes: theological and/or religious explorations of major themes related to the D&D universe. Topics might include:

  • Mainstream acceptance, how popular culture contributed to shifting public perceptions of D&D.
  • Race (now changed to species), class, gender, and other revisions in the D&D universe.
  • The commodification of hobbies, capitalism and D&D.
  • Fantasy/Tolkien’s influence on D&D.
  • Can good people play evil characters?
  • Theological or religious tolerance and pluralism amid competing complex belief structures.
  • The lingering impact of past-trauma in characters’ backstories and the enactment of woundedness. The death of an imagined character and loss.
  • Interaction between human and non-human (“others”). 
  • Non-combative conflict transformation.
  • Are the dice gods mad at me, determinism and free-will?
  • Good versus evil, are devils beyond redemption?
  • Friendship, companionship, and mental health.
  • Vocation/Calling and teamwork: multiclassing outside of traditional boxes.

Works: Topics might include:

  • Stranger Things and Christian fear of D&D.
  • An analysis of part of some aspect of a prominent campaign or popular culture portrayal of D&D (like Critical Role, the “C” Team, or Onward).
  • Media portrayal of D&D, or stereotypes of table-top gamers and bullying, exclusion, or escapism.
  • An analysis of a major D&D campaign like Tomb of AnnihilationLost Mine of Phandelver, Storm King’s Thunder, etc.
  • Engagement with the fantasy books set in the D&D universe like The Legend of Drizzt.
  • Baldur’s Gate: online RPG in the D&D universe

The call for chapters ends February 15, 2023. Authors will be notified of accepted proposals on March 1st, 2023. Authors will submit their accepted chapters by August 31st, 2023. Final chapters with revisions will be due March 1st, 2024 with an anticipated publication date honoring the upcoming 50thanniversary of D&D.

CFP: For special issue of Religious Studies

Special Issue Guest editors:
Meghan D. Page, Loyola University Maryland,
US Ignacio Silva, Universidad Austral, Argentina

Religious Studies in collaboration with the SET Foundations Project calls for papers that integrate practice-based philosophy of science with topics in philosophy of religion and theology. The best submitted paper, as judged by a committee, will receive a prize of $5,000. That paper, along with others selected, will be published in a special issue of Religious Studies.

Although both practice-based philosophy of science and philosophy of religion and theology explore topics such as causation, explanation, laws of nature, natural kinds, representation, models, and evidence, there is a significant lack of constructive dialogue between them. However, we believe that deeper theological and philosophical interaction with practice-based philosophy of science is likely to produce novel approaches to the big questions in theology and philosophy of religion.

This new approach encourages scholars to explore general questions regarding the aims and methods of scientific practice
rather than emphasize specific scientific theories or theses. We are particularly interested in work by philosophers of religion and theologians that engages with recent literature in practice-based philosophy of science, exemplified by questions such as: How do scientific explanations work? How do scientists use models? How do causal concepts vary across different domains of scientific inquiry? What are scientific “laws” and do all scientific theories employ them? How do we determine what counts as “good” science? We take this approach to be distinct from theory-based philosophy of science, which focuses on the metaphysical implications of particular scientific theories.

We do not intend to privilege any style or tradition of theology or philosophy. We hope scholars from across the globe will integrate philosophy of science into their preferred theological or philosophical approach. We view this engagement as one aspect of a rich and complex theological methodology, to be appropriately paired with historical, social, and textual analysis. We

invite philosophers of religion and theologians to submit papers that

Examples of possible paper topics include:

  • What counts as evidence for claims in theology and philosophy of religion?
  • How do we understand the content and meaning of theological or religious terms? Do we gather our understanding of these terms from experience?
  • What role do models play in theology? Is doctrine best thought of as a kind of model? Or is it something else?
  • Can experience confirm or undermine theological claims?
  • Are there multiple, distinctive strands of evidence used in • theology? What are they?
  • Can scientific evidence be used as support for theological views?
  • Do multilevel explanations (which integrate more than one scientific theory) offer a path for integrating multiple levels of explanation in theology (e.g. reconciling human and divine action)?
  • Are theological models like scientific models? Can scientific models offer a template for new models in theology?

Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2023

Full papers should be submitted via the Religious Studies Portal (a special section has been established for papers for this issue). Visit the Religious Studies homepage for a description of the journal and instructions to authors. More at

CFP: The Psychological Science of Emotions for Spiritual Formation and Soul Care

In recent years, social scientists have increasingly directed their attention to investigating topics at the intersection of religion, psychology, and human well-being. Among these topics are character traits, virtues, and processes closely associated with growth in Christlikeness, such as gratitude, grace, humility, forgiveness, hope, faith, and suffering. Many of these traits and virtues have characteristic affective states that attend them. Frequently though, emotions are thought to be outside of the range of our will or choice. They are something that happens to us. If true, then the many injunctions of Scripture to cultivate certain emotions and virtues and to avoid others become more perplexing. For this special issue we seek articles that engage empirical
findings from the social sciences to aid spiritual growth by answering questions such as the following:

  • What are the social scientific findings regarding the factors that shape our emotions and by extension impact our virtues (or vices)?
  • What implications do these findings have for what should shape our emotions?
  • What are the implications of these scientific findings for spiritual formation and soul care? How can we apply these insights to growth in Christlikeness?

Answering these questions requires 1) consideration of how to move from descriptive social scientific findings to prescriptive recommendations for growth and 2) integration of social scientific findings with the traditional sources of Christian formation: Scripture and the spiritual experiences of God’s people through the centuries. For this special issue, we seek two kinds of contributions: 1) shorter data-driven descriptions of empirical findings with applicability to Christian formation and 2) theoretical integration and application of scientific findings with spiritual theology.

Submissions Due May 1, 2023
General submission information:
Guest editors: Jason McMartin, Ryan Peterson, Timothy Pickavance, and Kyle Strobel
Questions: jason.mcmartin AT

Call For Papers: Theology and The Office (Deadline Jan31)

Title: Theology and The Office

Volume Editors: Daniel J. Cameron & John W. McCormack

Abstract and CV Due: January 31, 2023

Initial Final Paper Due: June 30, 2023

In 2020, seven years after the show officially ended, the hit NBC series The Office was the number 1 streamed tv show with over 57 billion viewing minutes beating out the second most streamed show (Grey’s Anatomy) by 45%.[1] In 2016, Rolling Stone Magazine listed The Office within the top 50 most popular tv shows of all time.[2] The show has had a lasting and deep influence on the trajectory of popular culture. It is because of The Office, that shows like Brooklyne Nine-NineParks and Recreation, and The Good Place exist.[3]The show is beloved by many for its witty humor, relatable characters, and simple  storyline. But, can The Office be reduced down to another comedy that seeks cheap laughter from its one liners such as “that’s what she said,” its jello pranks, or its absurd characters (i.e. Dwight Shrute) or is there something more, something deeper that we can learn from the things that happen at this fictional Pennsylvania paper company?

This book will argue along with Pam Beasley that “there is a lot of beauty in ordinary things.”[4] Or more specifically there is a lot of theology in ordinary things. This book will be an addition to the Theology, Religion, and Pop Culture series(Lexington Books, Fortress Academic) and while it imagines a broad range of readers, it will be of particular interest to those with an interest in comedy and tv sitcoms, as well as academics interested in intersections of religion and culture.  This volume seeks to gather a diverse group of scholars across the field of theology, religion, and related fields in order to produce a book that will provide both a theological lens through which to view The Office as well as to be a space for current cutting edge theological research to take place.

Potential Topics:

– Vocation/calling

– Friendship/fellowship/romance

– Difficult people, imperfect people

– Ethics in The Office

– Religion, “Religion,” and Religions in the Office

– Holidays/ritual observances/liturgical practice (Halloween episodes, Christmas episodes, pretzel day, Diwali, the Christening, weddings, birthday parties)

– Emotions in The Office (Andy’s anger management, Kelly’s manipulations, Gabe’s anxiety, Dwight’s refusal to smile, Toby’s face, etc.)

 – Gender, Sexuality, Family, and Relationships (Michael Scott’s masculinity; Oscar, Angela, and the Senator; Ryan and Kelly; “You have to tolerate a lot when you’re part of a family.”)

– Bosses and Authority (Michael, Jan, David Wallace, Robert California, etc.) 

– Acceptance and Belonging (Michael: “I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked, but it’s not like this compulsive need to be liked, like my need to be praised;” “Everybody likes the guy who offers them a stick of gum.” Dwight: “Do you want to form an alliance with me?”)

– Racial and ethnic identities in The Office (Diversity Day, The Convict,  Warehouse employees, IT guy, Hidetoshi Hasagawa, Sabre’s “Print in All Colors” initiative,  etc.)

– Transgression, Sin, and Punishment (Fake firings, Pizza by Alfredo, Michael’s nephew, the Scranton Strangler, etc.)

– Technology (Michael’s GPS; Dunder Mifflin Infinity (2.0); “Unleash the power of the pyramid”; WUPHF)

– Aesthetics, decor, identity (desk toys  and all that)

– Creativity (Here Comes Treble, Improv, Art School, Local Ad, Second Life, the Flenderson Files, etc.)

– Popular Culture in the Office (Parkour, Bobbleheads, Sweeney Todd)

– Time (“It’s a quarter to 5, and I have begun to gather my things.” “I’ve been salesman of the month thirteen out of the last twelve months.”)

– Space and place (The Break Room, the Conference Room, the Warehouse)

– Life inside and outside The Office (Call Center, Schrute Farms, truth and reality, etc.)

– The relationship between the Scranton branch and “Corporate” (and other branches, Sabre/Tallahassee, etc.)

– Cinematography and The Office (Talking Heads and the Idea of Hope, mockumentary style storytelling, etc)


Please send a 500-word abstract, accompanied by a current CV, to by January 31, 2023. Acceptance notifications will be sent out February 15, 2023. Full manuscripts (6,000-8,000 words)  are due on June 30, 2023. Manuscripts will be returned to contributors on August 1, 2023. Final revised manuscripts will be due by October 15, 2023. The completed volume will be submitted to the publisher December 1, 2023 for anticipated publication in 2024.

Daniel J. Cameron holds an MA from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is a Ph.D. candidate  in systematic theology from the University of Aberdeen and serves as the Bible Department head and Spiritual Life Director at Chicago Hope Academy (IL, USA) where he teaches a course in theology and film.

John W. McCormack holds an MAR from Yale Divinity School and a PhD in History from the University of Notre Dame and is Associate Professor of Religion and History at Aurora University (IL, USA). 


[1] Rick Porter. “’Ozark,’ ‘the Office’ Lead Nielsen’s 2020 Streaming Rankings.” The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter, January 13, 2021.

[2] Rob Sheffield. “100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.” Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone, July 29, 2019.

[3] Kelly Lawler, “’The Office’ Turns 15: All the Ways NBC’s Quirky Sitcom Changed Pop Culture,” USA Today (Gannett Satellite Information Network, March 24, 2020).

[4] The Office. 2013. Season 9, Episode 25, “Finale.” Directed by Ken Kwapis. Aired May 13, 2013 on NBC.

Psychology and Theology of Faith Academic Cross-Training Grants – Jan 23 – Application Deadline.

The Psychology of Faith Academic Cross-Training

With the support of the John Templeton Foundation, the University of St. Thomas (MN) announced The Psychology and Theology of Faith sub-granting competition in fall of 2022. The goal is to fund academic cross-training in the psychological sciences for scholars of Christian theology or philosophy of religion with research interests relating to religious belief or religious commitment. Six successful applicants will each receive a $70,000 award providing the opportunity to take courses in and work with mentors from the psychological sciences, in order to apply and leverage insights from the psychological sciences in their work as theologians and philosophers. This project is being supervised by professors Michael Rota (Univ. of St. Thomas) and Elizabeth Jackson (Toronto Metropolitan Univ.)

Applications are due Jan 23, 2023. For more information, see

Faithful to the Call: Renewing Theological Ethics from the Ground Up

May 11-13th, 2022 | McDonald Centre, Oxford 

What does faithfulness to the call of Christ demand within the political, economic, and social orders of today’s world? Where can Christians turn for help in discerning that call, and how can Christian ethicists serve those who must make difficult moral decisions? 

In May of 2022, prominent ethicists, theologians, philosophers, and practitioners will gather in Oxford to honour Professor Nigel Biggar’s efforts to do Christian ethics from the ground up. Our presenters will mark fifteen years of Biggar’s work as Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology by offering creative and constructive proposals across a wide range of issues, including bioethics, just war, political theology, and academic freedom.

Speakers include: 

Chris Eberle • Jennifer Herdt • Gerald McKenny • James Orr • Daniel Philpott • Charles Mathewes • Patrick Smith • Eric Gregory • Krishan Kumar • Baroness Onora O’Neill

The McDonald Distinguished Lectures will be given by:

Professor Oliver O’Donovan & Professor Nigel Biggar

Register to attend either in person or virtually here.

Note that in-person registrations are currently limited due to Covid.

The Spring 2022 Los Angeles Theology Conference is Rescheduled for March 15-17, 2023

The LATC conference scheduled for spring of this year (2022) has been reschedule to March 15-17, 2023. The announcement from the LATC website is copied below.

“Dear Friends and Supporters of the Los Angeles Theology Conference (LATC) series,

We are writing to let you know that after much careful thought and reflection, we have decided to reschedule LATC 2022 to 2023. This is due to the ongoing situation with the pandemic, and the complications this raises for in-person conferences like ours. We have always maintained that the in-person experience is vital to the success of LATC, which is all about discussion, engagement, and reflection on the Christian tradition of the past for the purposes of constructive systematic theology for today and tomorrow. For this reason we have decided to reschedule rather than to move the conference online. We remain committed to the vision of LATC, and to its future. But we think it would not be responsible to run the conference this March given the current state of affairs. So, we will now have the conference on March 15-17, 2023 at Biola University in La Mirada, California. The theme remains the same: ecclesiology. We trust that you will understand the reasons for this change given the extraordinary circumstances we are all having to navigate, and look forward to seeing you in California in March 2023!

—Oliver, Fred, and Katya (the LATC Team)”

Speakers and breakout topics are the same as originally scheduled, for now. (Images and content are from LATC website .

Plenary Speakers

Natalie Carnes – Baylor University – “Nature, Culture, Church: Reconsidering the Church-World Divide”

Millard J. Erickson – Independent scholar – “Ecclesiology in a Postmodern Age”

Tom Greggs- University of Aberdeen -“Creatura Verbi: Hearing the Living Word through the Spirit in the Church”

Jennifer Powell McNutt -Wheaton College -“Exilic Ecclesiology: Suffering and Apostolicity in Early Modern Reformed Theology”

Paul T. Nimmo – University of Aberdeen – “The Sanctification of the Church: Contemplating the Progress of the People of God”

Breakout Papers

Kimlyn J. Bender, George W. Truett Theological Seminary
“Confessing Christ, Confessing the Church”

Beau Branson, Brescia University
Jordan Wessling, Lindsey Wilson College
“The Church as a Singular, Persisting Institution”

Joshua Cockayne, University of St. Andrews
D. T. Everhart, University of St. Andrews
“‘Members of One Another’: Towards a Kierkegaardian Ecclesiology”

Stephen T. Davis, Claremont McKenna College
Eric T. Yang, Santa Clara University
“God’s Story and the Sameness of the Church Over Time”

Steven Duby, Phoenix Seminary
“‘Bond of Peace’: Ecclesial Unity as Participation in the Son and Spirit”

Daniel L. Hill, Dallas Theological Seminary
“Bound Together in the Holy Fire: Purgation and the Unity and Holiness of the Church”

Jonathan Hill, University of Exeter
“Communion of Saints: Knowledge and Love in Heaven and Earth”

Alex Irving, St. Mellitus College, East Midlands
“The Body of Christ: A Soteriological Basis for the Theological Marks of the Church”

Matt Jenson, Torrey Honors College, Biola University
“Either/Or: On the Necessary, But Maverick, Distinction between Church and World”

Adam Johnson, Torrey Honors College, Biola University
“The Cruciform Ministry of the Church: Refracting the Saving Work of Christ”

Marguerite Kappelhoff, University of Divinity, Melbourne
“The Marks of the Church and the Triune God: ‘Seeking and Creating Fellowship’”

Kimberley Kroll, Grand Canyon University
“Holy Branches: A Constructive Model of the Spirit’s Presence in the Church”

Steven Nemes, North Phoenix Preparatory Academy
“The Church and Infallibility”

Open Theology (Call for Papers) – Cultural Trauma and the Hebrew Bible.

Open Theology ( invites submissions for the topical issue “Cultural Trauma and the Hebrew Bible,” edited by Danilo Verde (KU Leuven) and Dominik Markl (Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome).

Deadline – March 31, 2022

In his work titled Trauma: A Social Theory, American sociologist Jeffrey C. Alexander argues: “Cultural trauma occurs when members of a collectivity feel they have been subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks upon their group consciousness, marking their memories forever and changing their future identity in fundamental and irrevocable ways” (p. 19). From this perspective, the mere occurrence of historical catastrophes or collective traumas does not necessarily result in cultural trauma, since cultural trauma only emerges when a collective catastrophe indelibly shapes a group’s collective memory and produces a profound revision of that group’s collective identity. Cultural trauma studies by no means constitute a single, monolithic research paradigm; yet, scholars in this field largely agree that cultural traumas “are for the most part historically made, not born” (Neil J. Smelser, Psychological Trauma and Cultural Trauma, 37), in the sense that they are the result of complex social processes.

Assuming the perspective of cultural trauma studies in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament scholarship involves understanding how texts and traditions that eventually formed the HB/OT both represented and shaped ancient Israel’s collective identity as profoundly disrupted and in need of recreation. The HB/OT frequently refers to collective experiences of disasters and crises. We accept papers that investigate the interrelationship between biblical representations of collective suffering and the creation of collective identity in ancient Israel and early Judaism in light of cultural trauma theory. Authors will explore biblical texts such as collective laments, curses, narratives, etc. not only as texts representing and voicing the community’s experience of catastrophic events, but also as tools to shape cultural trauma in ancient Israel and early Judaism. Authors are also encouraged to explore relevant texts as “equipment for living” (see  Kenneth Burke, Literature as Equipment for Living, 593-598) for the addressed community, namely as the literary and religious heritage through which the carrier groups of biblical texts attempted to build social resilience by coping with and giving meaning to collective suffering. Among others, topics or areas of focus might include:

  • Representations of collective trauma in the HB/OT: Narrative texts
  • Representations of collective trauma in the HB/OT: Poetic texts
  • Biblical strategies for the shaping of cultural traumas
  • Biblical strategies for the shaping of social resilience
  • Cultural trauma in the HB/OT and in ancient near Eastern literature: Patterns and motifs
  • Carrier groups of cultural traumas and their agendas in ancient Israel and early Judaism
  • Cultural trauma hermeneutics and historical critical approaches
  • The use of the Bible in shaping cultural trauma in the history of Judaism and Christianity

Authors publishing their articles in the topical issue will benefit from:– Transparent, comprehensive, and efficient peer review.

– Free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions. Because Open Theology is published in Open Access, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by so called Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors. Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk ( before submitting their manuscripts.

HOW TO SUBMIT – Submissions will be collected by March 31, 2022, via the on-line submission system at
Choose as article type: Cultural Trauma and the Hebrew Bible
Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors, available at:

All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.
Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Danilo Verde at In case of technical or financial questions, please contact Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk at

Open Theology (Call for Papers) – After the Theological Turn: Essays in (New) Continental Philosophical Theology

(This announcement is a second call)

“Open Theology” ( invites submissions for the topical issue “After the Theological Turn: Essays in (New) Continental Philosophical Theology”, edited by Martin Koci (University of Vienna).


This topical issue aims to explore, interrogate and reflect on the ways in which contemporary continental philosophy, and phenomenology in particular, unfolds and advances the development of philosophical theology. What does it mean to practice theology after the philosophical return to religion? During the last few decades, the renewal of theology has been much discussed in light of philosophical lectures that have revisited fundamental Christian concepts. However, the debate seems to be stuck on rather formal questions about whether the theological turn happened or not, whether it has been a legitimate or illegitimate development, and whether theology and philosophy can benefit at all from reconsidering their disciplinary borders. Moreover, from the theological perspective, crucial issues continue to be unresolved: What should the proper propaedeutic framework for theological work be in a secular context? How to formulate theologically valid as well as contextually plausible truth-claims? What kind of grammar should be employed in theology to create not only rational but also credible discourse? The working hypothesis behind this thematic issue is that philosophical—in particular phenomenological—engagement with theological concepts transforms the fundamental theological practice, revisits its rigor, and provides the possibility of developing an intelligible grammar for articulating normative theological claims. 

     We invite scholars in theology and continental philosophy of religion to address the following questions: Is phenomenology a suitable ancilla theologiae to provide theologians with sufficient philosophical grammar? Is it possible to develop, after the demise of metaphysics, a phenomenological theology? How does theology look after Marion, Henry, Chrétien, Lacoste, Falque et al.? Does theology benefit from philosophical reconsiderations of fundamental Christian concepts such as Revelation, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, etc.? The nerve and, at the same time, novelty of raising the question about after the theological turn is a critical application of explicit theological perspectives to thus test both the potential of and limits to philosophical reconsiderations of the theological for formulating plausible as well as credible theology.

Authors publishing their articles in the topical issue will benefit from:

– transparent, comprehensive and fast peer review,

– free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions.

Because “Open Theology” is published under an Open Access model, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors.

Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk ( before submitting their manuscripts. 


Submissions will be collected until April 15, 2022, via the on-line submission system at

* Choose as article type: “After the Theological Turn”
* Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors, available at:
* All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.

Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Martin Koci at In case of technical or financial questions, please contact journal Managing Editor Katarzyna Tempczyk at

Winter Seminar on Progress in Theology. Jan 27-29, 2022 (Abraham Kuyper Center)

From the 27th till the 29th of January 2022 the Winter Seminar on Progress in Theology will take place. The program schedule is now online!

We are looking forward to a great discussion on the status of the discipline of theology. Among the speakers are Katherin Rogers, Kevin Schilbrack, Benedikt Göcke and Jennifer Frey. Join the seminar to discuss the theological epistemology, the influence of secularization on the discipline of theology, the intellectual tasks of theology, and many more interesting topics.


Whereas many contemporary universities originated from theological programs, over the past centuries the status of theology as a proper academic discipline has become heavily contested. Among the many allegations levelled against theology is the idea that there is no progress in theology. The aim of this Winter Seminar is to investigate under which conditions, if any, theology can still function as an intellectually respectable player in the field of public academic studies. In particular, it zooms in on the notion of progress in theology. Is there any such progress? If not, is that a problem? If so, what shape does such progress take and are there ways in which theology might make more progress?

More information and registration

The seminar is organized by the Abraham Kuyper Center, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, as a part of the research project on Epistemic Progress in the University.

The seminar takes place online and on location at the Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam.

Online attendance is free. Click here to register through Eventbrite.

More information can be found on the website of the Abraham Kuyper Center.

“Death & Religion” CFP by Open Theology (second call)

 A call for papers has been issued by Open Theology for a topical issue on “Death and Religion”

This is a (second call). Submissions will be collected until April 30, 2022

    “Open Theology” ( invites submissions for the topical issue “Death and Religion”, edited by Khyati Tripathi, Jennifer Moran Stritch and Peter G.A.Versteeg.

    Death and religion share an interdependent relation. Where death is an event or state that threatens to disintegrate worlds and meaning, religion can be seen as a practice that categorizes, consoles and makes sense of this kind of disintegration. According to Oxford dictionary, death is defined as “end of life”, but behind this simple definition, there is a web of complex ideas that could be understood from not just biological but also religious or cultural perspectives. Death has been conceptualized differently in different religious traditions as their texts and practices demonstrate. According to Lifton, religion is ‘life power’ and dominates death. Similarly, Davies put forth rituals as culture’s ‘words against death’.

     The relationship between death and religion should be seen as a broad scholarly query, which includes philosophical and theological questions, as well as more applied perspectives such as social work. Although death is a clinical process of organs that cease to function, dying and death are events that are surrounded by various sense-making practices, ranging from intricate traditional ceremonies as part of established religious repertoires, to more personal, individualized rituals. Social-cultural context, therefore, is of utmost importance to understand how we interact with dying persons and dead bodies, and why we do it in that particular way.

    In theology we see how faith traditions historically account for the reality of death, reflecting upon its existential meaning and thus trying to understand how to deal with the event of death. As such, a theology of death raises both practical (e.g. in spiritual care) and systematical (e.g. in ethics) questions regarding death and dying.

     In psychology death anxiety or fear of death invited a great deal of interest starting in the late 1950s with Fiefel’s work on death anxiety and religion. Different studies pointed at different relationships between death anxiety and religiousness; some studies found a positive relationship between the two while others found an inverse relationship.  Some research argued for a curvilinear relationship between death anxiety and religiousness, explaining that moderately religious participants have more death anxiety than those who are extremely religious or not religious at all. The relationship between religion and death anxiety has been an inconclusive one because of the multidimensional nature of both religion and death anxiety. There is, however, a lack of scholarship on death anxiety and religion in non-western cultures.

    In cultural anthropology, death studies have developed into a substantial research niche. There has been ample attention for practices pertaining to e.g. the process of dying, death as transition, as well as to the interaction with the dead body. Important here, too, is the global perspective on death, also in the sense of engaging with ontologies of life and death outside of the established scientific-medical spectrum.

    This special issue encourages scholars from different disciplines, not just restricted to the ones we mentioned, to contribute to this debate. Of special interest are situations in which religion becomes overbearing and a burden to carry forward in times of death, or if religious practices are obstructed, for example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How do these crisis situations affect the relationship between religion and death? This special issue aims at invoking curiosity, enquiry and interest in looking at the different facets of this topic.

     The special issue on ‘Death and Religion’ invites empirical (qualitative and quantitative), review/conceptual and analytical papers focusing on the different facets of this relationship from scholars in different disciplines such as: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Theology, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Thanatology, Health Humanities, Social Care and Social Work. Among others, topics or areas of focus might include:

  • Death anxiety and religiosity in non-western cultures
  • The different perspectives to ‘Extrinsic Religiosity’
  • Is ‘Intrinsic Religiosity’ really the reliever of anxiety?
  • Psychological/sociological/psychosocial significance of death rituals
  • The changing nature of death rituals
  • Personal religious beliefs and ideas about death
  • Belief in afterlife and death anxiety
  • The changing relationship between death and religion due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The non-religious traditions and death
  • Autoethnographic accounts of performing/witnessing death rituals
  • Death as latent and religion as evident in Freudian texts
  • Religious Literacy and the end of life care
  • Extinction as ultimate death and other morbid anxieties of the Anthropocene

Authors publishing their articles in the topical issue will benefit from:

– transparent, comprehensive and efficient peer review,

– free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions.

Because “Open Theology” is published in Open Access, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by so called Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors.

Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk ( before submitting their manuscripts.


Submissions will be collected until April 30, 2022, via the on-line submission system at

Choose as article type: “Death and Religion”

Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors, available at:

All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.

 Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Khyati Tripathi at In case of technical or financial questions, please contact journal Managing Editor Katarzyna Tempczyk at