Union Faculty Awarded Prestigious Book Honors

Union Faculty Awarded Prestigious Book Honors

Categories: EDS at Union, In the News

Union Theological Seminary is proud to announce two prestigious book honors awarded to faculty members from our Union community. 

The Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas ’82, ’88, Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union and Bill and Judith Moyers Chair in Theology at Union, has been named the 2023 winner of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Religion for her book Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter. The Grawemeyer Award “honors significant contributions to religious and spiritual understanding.” 

Dean Kelly Brown Douglas shared:

“I never believed that I would be the recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion. I am overwhelmed and humbled by this incredible honor. I am so grateful to Louisville Seminary and everyone who read my book as part of this process. I am especially moved by the fact that I am being recognized for Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter, a book that my son, Desmond, played such a pivotal role in. Desmond challenges my faith and my thinking. He makes me better in every way, and this award is a testament to that.

I also want to thank Orbis Books and Robert Ellsberg who have been instrumental in each and every one of my books. When I had just finished my PhD, they gave me a chance and opened the door for me, a Black woman, to publish The Black Christ. They believed in me from the start when so many others did not.

And finally, there is a deep and almost inexpressible feeling of pride because I am sharing this award with my friend and mentor, James Cone. Truly I would not be doing this work without him. James Cone opened up this field of theology for me. I am grateful that I can honor his legacy through my work.”

The Very Rev. Dr. Douglas is the sixth Union alum and faculty member to receive this award, preceded by Dr. E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, Dr. Larry L. Rasmussen, Earth Community Earth Ethics, Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, former Union President Rev. Dr. Donald W. Shriver, Honest Patriots: Loving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds, Rev. Dr. Gary Dorrien, The New Abolition: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel, and Rev. Dr. James H. Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Read the full press release for Dean Douglas’s award here. 

Rev. Dr. Garry Dorien’s book American Democratic Socialism has won the American Library Association’s Choice Award. This is the third time he has won this award. Previous times were for Social Ethics in the Making and for Breaking White Supremacy. The Choice Award “reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community.” 

Rev. Dr. Gary Dorrien shared, “I am grateful to the American Library Association for this wonderful honor. The book was a labor of love. Writing it was a constant reminder to me of the friends who have graced my life through forty-plus years of solidarity activism in Massachusetts, New York City, New Jersey, upstate New York, Michigan, and back to New York City. Teaching at Union while I get these last books out of my head is a singular honor for me that I cherish.”

“Congratulations to these two outstanding Union faculty authors who are leaders in the field of theology and ethics,” shared Union President Rev. Dr. Serene Jones. “The Union community is so proud of these significant accomplishments by Kelly Brown Douglas and Gary Dorrien and we thank them for their commitment to faith and justice. They embody the vital, world-engaging spirit of this remarkable seminary. Bravo!”