Transgressive Theology Conference Panel Discussion

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   Transgressive Theology Panel TN 
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September 19, 2014 | 7:00 p.m.
Room 205

Since the election of President Barack Obama, socially sanctioned violence is on the rise in the United States. This panel discussion will explore theological and religious perspectives on violence in its various forms, such as:

  • The increased use of lethal force against African Americans and other persons of color
  • A surge in the numbers and types of permissive gun laws passed by state legislatures
  • Increased ideologically charged news and talk-show banter
  • The massive numbers of inter-group deaths of black males caused by guns
  • And a variety of other forms of physical and psychic violence

Sponsored by the Asian/Asian-American Center for Ministries at Garrett-Evangelical, this panel discussion will feature five renowned religious scholars.  There is no cost to attend and all are welcome.  



Rita Brock


Rita Brock
Theological Reflections on Socially Sanctioned Violence

Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, is the first Asian American woman ever to earn a doctorate in theology (Claremont Graduate University, 1988) and to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion. An internationally distinguished lecturer and award-winning author, her 2008 book with Rebecca Ann Parker, Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, was a finalist for the American Academy of Religion Award in constructive, reflective theological studies and a best book of the year in Publisher’s Weekly. Her most recent book is Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War, co-authored with Gabriella Lettini. 


Michel Andraos

Foreign Policy, Violence and Trauma among Middle Eastern Christian Communities in the North American Diaspora (US and Canada): A brief theological reflection

Michel Elias Andraos is the Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. The ongoing violence of foreign policy and the Western-led and supported wars in the Middle East have been the source of a profound experience of violence for a long time, not only in the region but also for Middle Eastern communities in the North American diaspora (US and Canada). The hope created during President Obama's first term for peace and a new era in foreign policy based on mutual respect and collaboration turned out to be a false hope. The focus of this presentation will be on the violence, trauma and resistance as experienced among some Middle Eastern Christian communities in diaspora, which include the personal experience of the presenter.

 Rufus Burnett


Rufus Burnett
When Hip-Hoppers Moan the Blues: Re-generating Blues Ritual as a De-colonial Act Against Sanctioned Violence

Rufus Burnett, Jr. is currently a PhD student in Systematic Theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Since 2011 Rufus has been an online adjunct instructor of World Religions at Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston, GA. His research interests include: constructive theology, decolonial theological method, womanist theological method, cultural theory, world religions and epistemology, the blues, the theology of revelation, and coloniality in the thought of Anibal Quijano and Walter Mignolo.



Randall Bailey
The Hebrew Bible and Socially Sanctioned Violence

Dr. Randall C. Bailey is the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible at Interdenominational Theological Center.  He is the author of one book and numerous articles on the Hebrew Bible and editor/coeditor of five books on biblical interpretation.  He concentrates on the relationship of Ancient Africa and the Hebrew Bible and specializes in ideological criticism, especially as regards the points of intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sex, sexual orientation and power in the biblical text.


thomas Linda E. Thomas
Professor of Theology and Anthropology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Dr. Linda E. Thomas has engaged students, scholars and communities as a scholar for almost twenty years. She studies, researches, writes, speaks and teaches about the intersection and mutual influence of culture and religion. Her work is rooted intransitively in a Womanist perspective.

Dr. Thomas has taught in the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, ethics and theology. She is particularly focused on the experience of African-American women, and is passionate about uncovering and exploring historical and contemporary experiences and ideologies that govern actions, policies and norms surrounding sex, race and class.

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