Special Issue "Sacramental and Liturgical Theology of Healing and Crisis Rites"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Kimberly Hope Belcher
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
Interests: sacramental and liturgical theology; ritual studies; ecumenism; phenomenology and trinitarian theology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Christian liturgy addressing sin, sickness, and death historically includes the anointing of those who are sick, the reconciliation of serious sinners, funerals, as well as liturgies responding to natural disasters, such as medieval public processions. At the same time, initiation, eucharist, and the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year also feature responses to individual and communal crisis. This volume will bring these Christian liturgies of crisis and healing into conversation with contemporary rites of crisis: public shrines on city streets, memorial museums recalling genocide, truth and reconciliation commissions, protests of racial and economic injustice, vigils for the dead, rites addressing climate change. Together, these provide new understandings of ritual processes for crisis and healing.

Theologically, rituals of crisis and healing might lament past or present evils, while they also hope for God’s promised future. Together, these two aspects of Christian liturgy demonstrate a commitment to the world and its history as well as an expectation of an eschatological interruption of that history. They balance a sense of the liturgy as a foundation for Christian ethical agency with a respect for the uniqueness of God’s action. How do our liturgical practices surrounding suffering and distress build up the liturgical understanding of time and eternity?

Contributions from multiple disciplinary perspectives are encouraged: for example, phenomenological, systematic, critical theoretical, or ethnographic studies of liturgical practices; theological work on eschatology, time, and memory as represented in liturgies of healing or crisis rites; historical liturgical practices and material culture surrounding sickness, death, schism, or sin; or social scientific analysis of affliction rituals. Protestant, Eastern, and Catholic rites are all ripe for interpretation, and comparative approaches with traditional religions, other world religions, or non-religion are encouraged.

Dr. Kimberly Hope Belcher
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com 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 papers will be 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 1200 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.


  • liturgy
  • sacrament
  • eschatology
  • crisis
  • healing
  • anointing
  • sickness
  • death
  • justice
  • reconciliation
  • genocide
  • memorial

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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