Call for Papers

The Other Journal // Issue 32: Family

Submissions due: January 31, 2020

In the earliest biblical description of human beings, we are told to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28), yet two chapters later we read of the harsh reality of barrenness, a recurring theme in the Scriptures. We sometimes speak of salvation as an entrance into a new family — the church — and God’s people are thus said to be God’s children, but Christ himself spoke of the need to hate one’s father, mother, and partner in order to enter into discipleship. Christians baptize their infants and train their young into their faith, the Catholic Church calls family the “domestic church,” and the Protestant philosopher G. W. F. Hegel argued that the family is the base unit of society, but through these very units, Christianity has helped to produce and maintain patriarchy with the notion of family often functioning as a sort of Christianized fetish. The boundaries, values, and status of the modern, nuclear family and the role of faith in family formation are continually up for debate as we ponder, what, in fact, constitutes a family.

In the next issue of The Other Journal, we take up these ideas as we seek theologically infused contributions on the theme of family. The following are some — but certainly not all — of the questions authors might wish to consider: What is the nature of family? How has the Christian theological tradition understood or misunderstood family? What is the family of God, or what problems does such a line of thinking create when we consider who is left out of that familial network? What role has our understanding of the modern family played in shaping anddetermining our understanding of the family of God? What are the ways in which Christian thought and practices maintain traditional family logics? Or how do Christianity’s varied conceptions about family name antifamily practices and influence our present moment?

From familial responsibility and the formation of alternative family structures to the interrogation of patriarchy’s place in the theological tradition, we seek essays, creative writing, art, and reviews that uniquely engage this complex conversation. As always, we are particularly interested in contributions that tackle these themes with verve and slant, contributions that open our ears to the peacefully contrarian Christ by way of their distinctive style, ideas, and progressive consideration of the other.

More information on our submission guidelines, including our email address, can be found on our Submissions page.