We are proud to announce the third annual James Cone Lecture in honor of Dr. James H. Cone, the father of Black Liberation Theology. This annual lecture continues forth his legacy of prophetic Black theological and religious thought that pricks the conscience of America.
This year’s lecture will be on Wednesday, April 12, and will be given by Dr. Jacquelyn Grant, a renowned theologian and The Fuller E. Callaway Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. Her lecture titled, The Anti-Sexism Work of James Hal Cone, promises to be an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of Cone’s contributions to theology, his anti-sexism work, and how it continues to shape our understanding of the Black experience.
The program will begin at 6:00 pm ET and will take place on Zoom.
Dr. Grant is an expert in womanist theology and has written extensively on the intersections of race, gender, and religion. An MA and Ph.D. alum, Dr. Grant was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology.
We are excited to continue this lecture series in honor of James Hal Cone and to bring together scholars, theologians, and the Union community to engage in critical dialogue about the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in America. Join us in celebrating Cone’s legacy and the impact of his work.
About Dr. Jacquelyn Grant
Dr. Jacquelyn Grant is a graduate of Bennett College (BA), Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (M.DIV) and Union Theological Seminary (MA & Ph.D.). She was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. Dr. Grant holds honorary doctorate degrees from Turner Theological Seminary at ITC, Payne Theological Seminary, Bennett College and Chicago Theological Seminary.
Dr. Grant is The Fuller E. Callaway Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at the ITC. Dr. Grant’s teaching resume, which covers some forty-six years, (forty-two of which have been spent at the ITC), includes several institutions. At various points of her career, Dr. Grant has served as a Dubois Scholar at Harvard University and a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School (Women and Religion Program), Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton University, Candler School of Theology and The Laney Graduate School at Emory University, Christian Theological Seminary, United Theological Seminary, New York Theological Seminary, Bennett College, Berea College and Vidyajoyti Institute of Religious Studies, Delhi, India. At Bennett College, she was the first holder of the Willa B. Player Chair in the Humanities, and she was the Eli Lilly Professor in Religion at Berea College.
Being one of the three founders of Womanist Theology/Ethics, Dr. Grant authored the best-seller book, White Women’s Christ and Black Women’s Jesus: Feminist Christology and Womanist Response, edited two volumes, Perspectives on Womanist Theology and Recovery of Black Presence (with Dr. Randall Bailey), and she has written scores of articles that bring attention to theological/religious/social issues that affect women, in general and black women, in particular. This includes the 1979 groundbreaking article, “Black Theology and The Black Woman.” Her work is used in educational institutions internationally.
In 1981, Dr. Grant founded the Black Women in Church and Society (BWCS) program, which advocates the inclusion and full participation of women in the life and work of the church and the society. Through the work of this office, Dr. Grant has brought together interdenominational, intergenerational, interdisciplinary and international groups of women in dialogues, seminars, forums, conferences, and classes, setting Black women’s agenda in the church and society.
Under the auspices of BWCS, Dr. Grant created mentoring, community/social service, research, leadership and scholarly development and enhancement programs for women. Two Programs are The Womanist Scholars Program (WSP) which supported the sabbatical/research/writing work of Black women scholars nationally/internationally, and Black Women in Ministerial Leadership Program (BWML) which provided leadership training/education for Black women practicing ministry.
Ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1974, Dr. Grant continues to work locally and connectionally/internationally. Dr. Grant wrote and presented a position paper at the 1976 General Conference calling for the full participation of women at all levels of the church. This paper, “The Status of Women in the AME Church,” was followed by another paper, “The AME Church and Women,” written for the 1980 General Conference. In 1976, at the General Conference of the AME Church, Dr. Grant called Women in Ministry together for organizing. This became the Women in Ministry organization (AME/WIM) which led to the creation of the Commission on Women in Ministry, an official organ in the AME Church. Among other services, AME/WIM provided advocacy work leading to the increase of women pastors and presiding elders, and to the election of women general officers and bishops in this historic Black Church. Dr. Grant continues to serve as consultant with its executive board. In both the academic program (BWCS) and the church program (AMEC/WIM), Grant has persistently challenged racism, sexism, classism and other forms of oppression in the church and larger society.
Dr. Grant has worked with the World Council of Churches (WCC), the National Council of Churches (NCC), the Commission on Church Union (COCU), and Partners in Ecumenism (PIE). She is a member of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT), the American Academy of Religion (AAR), and the Society for the Study of Black Religion (SSBR). Her work with WCC and EATWOT kept her on the international stage for many years. Dr. Grant has traveled to more than thirty-five (35) countries on six (6) of the seven Continents.
Dr. Grant has been recognized outside of the academy and the church for her work. She has been featured in several popular cultural magazines, including in seven editions of Ebony Magazines, with three of them focusing on the following: she was a nominee for Johnson Publishing Company’s Black Achievement Award in the area of religion; she received an honorable mention among outstanding women preachers; and she was listed in a select group of “Women to Watch.”
Dr. Grant is one of nine children born in Georgetown, SC to the late Rev. Joseph J. and the late Mrs. Lillie Mae Grant (pastor and cosmetologist, respectively). She was married to the late Rev. Dr. John W.P. Collier, Jr., retired Executive Secretary for The Department of Missions of the AME Church.