Plenary Speakers 2017

Willie Jennings

The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race

Willie Jennings is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale University Divinity School.  He specializes in areas of liberation theologies, cultural identities, and anthropology.  His most recent book, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale 2010) won the American Academy of Religion Award of Excellence in the Study of Religion in the Constructive-Reflective category in 2011.   Englewood Review of Books called the work a “theological masterpiece.”  Dr. Jennings is currently completing a popular commentary on the Book of Acts, titled Acts: A Commentary, The Revolution of the Intimate (for the Belief Series, Westminster/John Knox), as well as a monograph provisionally entitled Unfolding the World: Recasting a Christian Doctrine of Creation.  He has authored more than 40 scholarly essays and nearly two dozen reviews, as well as essays on academic administration and blog posts for Religion Dispatches.  A Calvin College graduate, Dr. Jennings received his M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in religion and ethics from Duke, is an ordained Baptist minister and has served as interim pastor for several North Carolina churches.

Julie Hanlon Rubio

Sex, Gender, and Revolution: Where Was Theology?


Julie Hanlon Rubio is Professor of Christian Ethics in the Department of Theological Studies where she holds the Steber Chair and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at St. Louis University. She has received three teaching awards while at SLU. Her research interests include family ethics, feminist theology, and religion and politics. She has published over 30 academic essays and five books, including Family Ethics:Practices for Christians and Hope for Common Ground: Mediating the Personal and the Political in a Divided Church, which won the CTS book award last year. Her writing has also appeared in popular venues includingAmerica magazine, U.S., and the Washington Post. She is the board of Horizons, the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education, and National Catholic Reporter. Her current project is titled Catholicism, Gender, and the Family.

Christopher Pramuk

Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line

Christopher Pramuk is University Chair of Ignatian Thought and Imagination and Associate Professor of Theology at Regis University in Denver.  With interests ranging from Ignatian spirituality to Black Catholic history and racial justice to the life and writings of Thomas Merton, he has spoken widely, taught, and led retreats on all of these topics.  Pramuk is the author of five books, including Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line (2013), a sustained meditation on race relations in society and church, and two award-winning books on Thomas Merton: At Play in Creation: Merton's Awakening to the Feminine Divine (2015), and Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton (2009).  His essays and meditations have appeared in America, Theological Studies, Cross Currents, Sojourners, Horizons, Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, and the prayer journal Give Us This Day.  In his previous position at Xavier University, Pramuk was recognized as Teacher of the Year, and in 2016, he won the inaugural Monika K. Hellwig Teaching Award from the College Theology Society.  His current book project is titled Music, Art, and Theology: Seeds of Wonder, Resistance, and Hope/.  Pramuk blogs regularly and posts resources on spirituality, the arts, and racial justice at

The College Theology Society is a registered, non-profit professional society and a Related Scholarly Organization of the American Academy of Religion.


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