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About Call it Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World:
“Theology is a place and a story. Theology is the place and story you think of when you ask yourself about the meaning of your life, of the world, and the possibility of God.” So begins Serene Jones’ memoir of raw truth, fierce love, and spiritual teaching, the balm our nation’s fractured soul needs. From her Oklahoma roots to her historic leadership of Union Theological Seminary, her story illuminates the deep fault lines of this age–and points beyond them. With a voice that is at once frank and poetic, humble and prophetic, intimate and practical, Jones makes complex teachings around hatred, forgiveness, mercy, justice, death, sin, and grace understandable and immediately applicable.
Excavating the wisdom of great theological voices–Soren Kirkegaard, Reinhold Niebuhr, John Calvin, James Baldwin, James Cone, Luce Irigaray, Saint Teresa of Avila–she brings them to life with an intimacy and vividness that illumines our lives and present culture. At the same time, and with great beauty, Call It Grace reveals Serene Jones as a towering voice of a new, and urgently necessary, public theology for this century. Click here to purchase Call it Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World.
Rev. Dr. Serene Jones: A highly respected scholar and public intellectual, the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th President of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 183-year-old institution, Jones occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy. She is a Past President of the American Academy of Religion, which annually hosts the world’s largest gathering of scholars of religion. Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and Chair of the University’s Program in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The author of several books including Trauma and Grace, Jones, a popular public speaker, is sought by media to comment on major issues impacting society because of her deep grounding in theology, politics, women’s studies, economics, race studies, history, and ethics.
The Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, the inaugural Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, leads EDS at Union in the education and preparation of students in fulfilling requirements for ordination in the Episcopal Church while receiving their degree from Union.
A leading voice in the development of womanist theology, Dean. Douglas is widely published in national and international journals and other publications. Her groundbreaking and widely used book Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective (1999) was the first to address the issue of homophobia within the black church community. Her latest book, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (2015) examines the deep roots of “Stand Your Ground” culture in America and the challenges it brings for the Black Church community. Other books include The Black Christ (1994), What’s Faith Got to Do With It?: Black Bodies/Christian Souls (2005), and Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant (2012) which seeks to move the black church beyond its oppressive views toward LGBT bodies and sexuality in general.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is a scholar who speaks to the black and blue in America. His most well-known books, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, take a wide look at black communities and reveal complexities, vulnerabilities, and opportunities for hope. Hope that is, in one of his favorite quotes from W.E.B Du Bois, “not hopeless, but a bit unhopeful.” Other muses include James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Bobby “Blue” Bland.
Some like to describe Glaude as the quintessential Morehouse man, having left his home in Moss Point, Mississippi at age 16 to begin studies at the HBCU. He holds a master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University. He began his teaching career at Bowdoin College. He has been a visiting scholar at Amherst College and Harvard. He is a columnist for Time Magazine and regularly provides commentary on radio and television news programs like Democracy Now!, Morning Joe, and the 11th Hour. He hosts the podcast AAS 21.
Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee (Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary, New York) is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Georgia. One of the premier Christian
ethicists in the world, he is the author or editor of twenty-four books, including Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Kingdom Ethics, The Sacredness of Human Life, Changing Our Mind, Still Christian, and his latest, Moral Leadership for a Divided Age: Fourteen People Who Dared to Change Our World. Dr. Gushee is the immediate Past-President of the American Academy of Religion, and is also the Past-President of the Society of Christian Ethics.
The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a 1,100-member multiethnic, welcoming, and inclusive congregation in New York City. She is an activist, preacher, public theologian, and fierce advocate for racial equality, economic justice, and LGBTQ/gender equality.
Middle Church and Jacqui’s activism for these issues has been featured in media such as The Today Show, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New Yorker, Yahoo News, Essence, and The Huffington Post. Jacqui has been a frequent contributor on MSNBC, and serves on the advisory committee of the Women’s March. Jacqui is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary.