Dr. Emilie Townes

Dr. Emilie Townes

Dr. Emilie Townes will be the School of Theology’s 2019 guest lecturer on Oct. 2 and 3 as part of the DuBose Lectures.

The DuBose Lectures are a multi-year series of seminars with a theme of racial reconciliation.

The lectures are held on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee. The first two lectures will be on Oct. 2 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The third lecture is on Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. All lectures will be held in Guerry Auditorium, on Georgia Avenue and are open to the public at no charge.

The lecture, “Premeditated Indifference: Facing (In)Justice with the Power of Hope” will explore how we can use hope as both solace for our souls and a call to action in our public witness.

Sometimes the power of hope is all that sustains us when we look at the world around us and ask, “How did we get ourselves into such deep divisions?” Rather than turn away from the challenges that this question poses, these lectures will look further.

Lecture one is titled “What in the World?” It will explore the various ways in which we do and do not engage each other and creation with care, compassion, respect and love.

Lecture two is titled “How in the World?” It will explore how we might begin to mend creation in ways that help us realize God’s marvelous gift of creation in our lives and in the lives of others.

Lecture three is titled “Hope of the World!” It will explore how a robust hope, grounded in God’s call for justice and mercy, can lead us into just and loving relationships with each other and the rest of creation.

Dr. Emilie Townes

Dr. Emilie M. Townes, an American Baptist clergywoman, is a native of Durham, North Carolina.

She holds a doctor of ministry degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Ph.D. in religion in society and personality from Northwestern University.

Townes is the dean and carpenter professor of Womanist Ethics and Society at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School, becoming the first African American to serve as dean of the Divinity School in 2013.

She is a former Andrew W. Mellon professor of African American religion and theology at the Yale University Divinity School and, in the fall of 2005, she was the first African American woman elected to the presidential line of the American Academy of Religion and served as president in 2008.

Townes was the first African American and first woman to serve as associate dean for academic affairs in the Yale Divinity School. She is a former Carolyn Williams Beaird professor of Christian ethics at the Union Theological Seminary and professor of social ethics at the Saint Paul School of Theology.