With the arrival of a new year, we are happy to announce some new developments for the blog. As blogging has developed, more and more blogs have become integrated into other platforms. For a blog with a roster of academic theologians, the obvious linkage was to an established academic journal. We are happy to announce that, going forward, we will be partnering with the Journal of Moral Theology (JMT) to foster conversations about our shared enterprise of Catholic moral theology. Many readers will know that JMT is a peer-reviewed, open-source journal founded almost 10 years ago by David McCarthy at Mount St. Mary’s University. JMT has recently moved to a new web platform, and the time was right for increased collaboration.
Our first project will start over the next couple days, coinciding with the annual meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics. Each month, the blog will feature a roundtable discussion of a recent full essay from the Journal. The essays will be selected to profile important topics of wide interest, especially for the larger public. For January, we will feature a roundtable on Gary Slater’s essay “From Strangers to Neighbors,” exploring the theological significance of the sanctuary city movement. Later this week, contributor Matthew Shadle will start our roundtable, to be followed by several more responses in the subsequent week, and culminating in a response from the article’s author. February’s roundtable will deal with an important issue in health care ethics: the effects of residential segregation on long-term health outcomes. These roundtables will help highlight the contributions of the original article to Catholic moral theology, as well as provide a wider forum for discussion of the themes and ideas.
Secondly, the Journal has recently added a book review section, and we are happy that advance copies of book reviews will be periodically posted on the blog.
Finally, we will also highlight upcoming features in the Journal, including calls for papers for future issues. For example, the Journal now has a call out for original essays related to artificial intelligence and machine learning, that promises to be of wide interest.
We are working on developing clear interfaces for the two websites, and expect this collaboration to deepen in the future. The journal and the blog are both committed to pursuing Catholic moral theology with commitments to academic excellence, to the ongoing life of the Church, and to charitable engagement in an age where polarization seems to worsen all the time. Of course, the blog will also continue to serve its purpose as a “blog” – a space for commentators to post thoughtful pieces about relevant stories and events as they happen. But we are hopeful that this collaboration will strengthen both institutions as we move forward into this new decade. Thank you for your continued readership.