The Theology and Religious Studies Annual Ann O’Hara Graff Lecture is excited to welcome theologian M. Shawn Copeland, Professor Emerita at Boston College. From Dr. Copeland: “As we peoples of Earth continue to grapple with the lethal coronavirus, we are beset with grave existential, spiritual, and intellectual suffering. Moreover, we in the United States are grappling with waves of white racist supremacy. To answer the question, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ in deeds as well as in words requires that we rethink what it means to be human and what it means to live humanely in a world shaped by legacies of racial domination and oppression.”
An award-winning author, Dr. Copeland has written and/or co-edited six books including her Knowing Christ Crucified: The Witness of African American Religious Experience (Orbis, 2018) and Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being (Fortress 2010), and no less than 125 articles, book chapters, reviews, and blog entries on spirituality, theological anthropology, political theology, social suffering, gender and race. She is the recipient of six honorary degrees. The Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture is a co-sponsor for this year’s lecture.
Dr. M. Shawn Copeland is Professor Emerita at Boston College.
An award-winning author, she has written and/or co-edited six books including her Knowing Christ Crucified: The Witness of African American Religious Experience (Orbis, 2018); Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being (Fortress 2010); The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille (2009); Uncommon Faithfulness: The Black Catholic Experience (2009), and 125 articles, book chapters, reviews, and blog entries on spirituality, theological anthropology, political theology, social suffering, gender and race.
M. Shawn Copeland received her PhD in Systematic Theology from Boston College in 1991 and until her retirement in 2019, Professor Copeland was a tenured member in its Theology Department. She has taught at Marquette University, Yale University Divinity School, and St. Norbert College and has held visiting positions at Harvard University Divinity School.
Professor Copeland is a former Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS), an interdisciplinary learned association of Black Catholic scholars, and is recognized as an important influence in North America in drawing attention to issues surrounding African American Catholics. She was first African American to serve as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA).
Professor Copeland is the recipient of six (6) honorary degrees, the Seton Medal and the Congar Award for excellence in theology, and the Marianist Award from the University of Dayton and the Myser Award from St. Catherine’s University for outstanding contributions Catholic intellectual life. In June 2018, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the principal professional association of Catholic theologians in North America, conferred upon her its highest honor for “distinguished theological achievement,” the John Courtney Murray Award.
M. Shawn Copeland electrifies the atmosphere with her passion for social justice, pushing people to think about the tangled and unbreakable nature of the relationship between theology and their world. Read this May 4, 2018 article in The Heights – For a Greater Boston College. Read the story (https://bcheights.com/magazine/index.php/2018/the-frisson-in-the-air/)
Watch Dr. Copeland’s lecture at the March 22, 2018 - The Norman and Louis Miller Lecture in Public Understanding at St. Norbert College. Watch the video (https://www.snc.edu/millercenter/lectureseries/)
Watch or read Dr. Copeland’s Palm Sunday talk: “We can stand with our God only insofar as we stand beside and wait in active and compassionate solidarity with children, women, and men who suffer concretely, unbeautifully, and actually in our world.” Watch the video (https://www.catholicwomenpreach.org/preaching/04092017)