Distinguished Catholic Lectors Series: Dr. M. Shawn Copeland

Dr. M. Shawn Copeland, Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College, will present “The Beloved Community and the Mystical Body of Christ” as part of the Distinguished Catholic Lectors Series on Tuesday, November 5, at 7:00 p.m. in the University Theater at Christian Brothers University (CBU).

Prevailing interpretations of the Civil Rights Movement analyze its political, economic, and legal advances and setbacks. Over the past several years, theologians have come to recognize Martin Luther King’s agenda for social transformation as a practical-political theology. Copeland’s lecture draws out the theological orientation of King’s activism, since the deepest goal of that work was neither desegregation, nor integration, but the achievement of “the beloved community,” a concrete realization of the Catholic notion of the Mystical Body of Christ.

“Shawn was both a mentor and colleague of mine when I was at Marquette,” notes CBU Chair and Associate Professor of Religion & Philosophy, Dr. Scott Geis.  “She is a truly amazing individual on both personal and professional levels, and CBU is privileged to have her speak to our community in a few weeks.”

“Dr. Copeland is among the most prominent Catholic theologians writing today,” notes CBU Associate Professor of Religion & Philosophy, Dr. Emily Holmes. “She embodies the very best in Catholic thought: faith seeking understanding, unwavering commitment to social justice, and compassionate attention to the most marginalized members of our church and our society.”

Copeland holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Boston College. She is a prolific author, with more than 100 publications to her credit. She is author of Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race and Being (Fortress 2010) and of The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille (Paulist 2009); principal editor of Uncommon Faithfulness: the Black Catholic Experience (Orbis 2009), and co-editor with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza of Feminist Theologies in Different Contexts (Orbis 1996) and Violence Against Women (Orbis Books, 1994) both of which have been translated into Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Copeland is an elected member of the Society for the Study of Black Religion (SSBR) and the Society for Values in Higher Education (SCHE). She has been recognized for her theological scholarship by Barry University with the Yves Congar Award for Excellence in Theology; and for her advocacy by the Black Women’s Community Development Foundation with the Sojourner Truth Award. Copeland is also a former Convenor of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS), an interdisciplinary learned association of Black Catholic scholars, and a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), the primary professional association of Catholic theologians in the United States and Canada.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information about this lecture at CBU, contact Dr. Emily Holmes at (901) 321-3325 or eholmes1@cbu.edu.

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