Why the Body is the Land and the Land is the Body: Thoughts and Conversation
On Tuesday, April 4 from 6:00-7:30pm ET, Join Professor of Theology and World Religions at Union Theological Seminary the Rev. Dr. John Thatamanil and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale University Divinity School the Rev. Dr. Willie Jennings for a virtual conversation entitled “Why the Body is the Land and the Land is the Body: Thoughts and Conversation.”
While much has been made of the intimate connection between inattention to place and the ecological crisis, very little attention has been given to the troublingly intimate relation between racial reasoning and the denial and destruction of place centered identity. Dr. Willie James Jennings has been a pioneer in thinking through this neglected topic. Join Dr. Jennings in conversation with John J. Thatamanil, Director of Union’s Insight Project, as they take up this urgent topic.
Dr. Willie James Jennings is currently Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale University Divinity School.
Dr. Jennings was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Jennings received his B.A. in Religion and Theological Studies from Calvin College (1984), his M.Div. (Master of Divinity degree) from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California, and his Ph.D. degree from Duke University. Dr. Jennings who is a systematic theologian teaches in the areas of theology, black church and Africana studies, as well as post-colonial and race theory. Dr. Jennings is the author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race published by Yale University Press. It is one of the most important books in theology written in the last 25 years and is now a standard text read in colleges, seminaries, and universities. Dr. Jennings is also the recipient of the 2015 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his groundbreaking work on race and Christianity. Dr. Jennings recently authored commentary on the Book of Acts won the Reference Book of the Year Award, from The Academy of Parish Clergy. He is also the author of After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging, which is the inaugural book in the much anticipated book series, Theological Education between the Times, and has already become an instant classic, winning the 2020 book of the year award from Publisher’s Weekly, and being selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book of the Year in the Constructive- Reflective Studies category. And now Dr. Jennings is hard at work on a book on the doctrine of creation, tentatively entitled, “Reframing the World.”
In addition to being a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and seminaries, Dr. Jennings is also a regular workshop leader at pastor conferences. He is also a consultant for the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, and for the Association of Theological Schools.
He served along with his wife, the Reverend Joanne L. Browne Jennings as associate ministers at the Mount Level Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina, and for many years, they served together as interim pastors for several Presbyterian and Baptist churches in North Carolina. They are the parents of two wonderful daughters, Njeri and Safiya Jennings.