Denison Black History Celebration Features Theophus Smith Lecture
Posted: February 11, 2003
Denison University presents author and educator Theophus Smith for a lecture on "Time Alchemy: Healing History 'As If' Horror Had Never Happened" at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 18) in Olin Auditorium (room 114).
Associate Professor of Religion at Emory University, Smith emphasizes a psycho-spiritual transformation of historical experience in order to reduce its ill effects for the future. His lecture features a recently recorded Studs Terkel interview with the mother of Emmett Till, conducted just before her recent death. The lecture, which is part of Denison's Black History Month celebration, is free and open to the public.
Smith is the author ofConjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America, for which he received the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in 1994, and co-editor ofCuring Violencewith Mark Wallace.
"I consider Smith's scholarship on African American culture and religion to be the most original and creative I have seen since the work of James Cone in the early 1970s," said John Jackson, chair of Denison's Center for Black Studies. "Smith moves beyond theology to draw upon a dazzling array of disciplines and perspectives in the areas of cultural studies, folklore, phenomenology and religious studies."
A member of the American Academy of Religion, Smith is also a founding member of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R) and the Atlanta Chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). He recently convened Thurman Reconciliation Initiatives, a new research and consulting partnership that provides faith-based resources for conflict transformation and social change. Smith is an active church leader in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and co-convener of the Atlanta Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE).
Educated at Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.), St. John's College (Annapolis, Md.), Virginia Theological Seminary (Alexandria) and the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, Ca.), Smith's academic and teaching specialties include philosophy of religion, African American religious studies, liberation theology, and religion and violence. He also is engaged in issues of multiculturalism and the college curriculum, included a combined emphasis on Black Studies and Western classics.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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