10-26-2016 Karen Teel
Presenter: Dr. Karen Teel, Associate Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego
Dates: October 26-27, 2016
Karen Teel, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego. She is a graduate of Gonzaga University, where she earned her BA in Religious Studies and Psychology, and Boston College, where she earned her MA and PhD in Catholic systematic theology. Dr. Teel's research and teaching endeavors center around theological engagement with the problems of racism and white supremacy. Her first book, Racism and the Image of God, argued that if white Christians took seriously black women's experiences in church and society, it could transform their understanding of what it means to be human, created in God's image. In her current book project, The Unbearable Whiteness of Jesus, she is investigating the development of whiteness in the context of European Christian faith, culture, and history.
Public Talk Details
Date: Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
Location: 105 College Hall
Title: The Unbearable Weight of Whiteness: Christian Faith and Racial Justice
Abstract: In recent years, many white US Americans have become newly aware of the racialized dynamics prevailing in our nation, especially in incidents involving police. Yet this situation has not attained the urgency for most whites that it has for many people of color, and interracial collaboration for racial justice remains rare. Indeed, we disagree across racial lines about the difference race makes; for example, two-thirds of blacks believe that it is much harder to be black than white in the US, compared to one-quarter of whites. What accounts for these differences? Does religion play a role? Analyzing the thought processes that arise when white people encounter race and racism, Dr. Teel will ask whether European Christian faith has encouraged a racial attitude that makes it difficult for white Christians to connect and collaborate with people of color to advance racial justice.
Date: Thursday, October 27th, 2016.
Location: 207 College Hall (Berger Gallery)
Title: Whiteness in Catholic Theological Method
Abstract: Catholic theologians frequently acknowledge that urgent justice issues plague our world. Why, then, do many fail to address specific problems arising from the global system of white supremacy, while some do so seamlessly? Stephanie Mitchem has observed that "Methodologies are not benign: scholars have commitments in their work." Further, Tom Beaudoin and Katherine Turpin have argued that white practical theology, claiming universality, manifests a "sustained indifference" to human particularity. In her paper, Dr. Teel names this attitude "whiteness" and investigates how it functions in US Catholic systematic theology. Specifically, she applies a sociological analysis of racist thinking to Terrence W. Tilley's The Disciples' Jesus and M. Shawn Copeland's Enfleshing Freedom. She aims to distinguish methodological differences that shed light on how these two skillful approaches yield such divergent results when it comes to engagement with white supremacy.
All interested faculty, graduate students, and other parties are invited. Refreshments will be served.
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