Vanderbilt University Divinity School announces the 2019 Cole Lectures
to be delivered by
M. Shawn Copeland
Professor Emerita of Theology
Thursday, November 14, 2019
A Can(n)on of Embodied Ethics
This lecture engages with the person, thought, and work––the theo-ethical praxis of Professor Katie Geneva Cannon. The lecture sketches the aims of the (Western European) theological canon in relation to the aims of that preeminent theo-ethical scholar Katie Geneva Cannon, then contrasts Cannon’s praxis with Western practices of canon formation, and, finally, considers the impact and influence of the canon, cannons, and Cannon on theology and ethics.
About the Cole Lecturer
M. Shawn Copeland is Professor Emerita of Theology 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 Ph. D. 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 and first African American woman to serve as president of the
Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA).
Professor Copeland is the recipient of six (6) honorary degrees as well as the Seton Medal and the
Congar Award for excellence in theology. In November of 2017, the University of Dayton conferred
upon her the Marianist Award, which is presented “to a Catholic scholar, author, and theologian who
has made an outstanding contribution to the 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.
Philanthropist Edmund W. Cole , president of Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad and treasurer of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust, endowed the annual Cole Lecture Series in 1892 "for the defense and advocacy of the Christian religion." Cole's gift provided for the first sustained lectureship in the history of Vanderbilt University.
The lectures have been delivered by such distinguished scholars as Harry Emerson Fosdick, George Buttrick, Rudolph Bultmann, H. Richard Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Walter Brueggemann, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, James Barr, Gustavo Gutierrez, James Cone, Edward Farley, Don Beisswenger, Gene TeSelle, David Buttrick, Jim Wallis, Lamin Sanneh, Mark Noll, Randall Balmer, James Lawson, John O'Malley, R. Scott Appleby and many others.
The Cole Lectures are free and open to the public.
Click here for a complete list of Cole Lectures from 1894-2015.