Emilie M. Townes to speak on spirituality at Vanderbilt University, Thirtieth Antoinette Brown Lecture set for March 25

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Deep spirituality can encompass all of one’s life and overcome social patterns of domination and subordination that cause much misery, believes Emilie M. Townes, who speaks this month at Vanderbilt University.

"This spirituality, which encourages us to choose healthy lifestyles and leadership models, involves both the body and soul," Townes said. "It encourages us to be genuine partners with God in bringing love, justice and mercy into the lives of others and ourselves."

Townes will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, in Benton Chapel on the Vanderbilt campus. Her lecture is titled "Mounting the High Side of Misery."

Townes will be the 30th speaker in the Antoinette Brown Lecture Series, a student-run event that brings a distinguished female theologian and/or church leader to campus each year.

One of the premier Christian ethicists in the United States, Townes is the Carolyn Williams Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Her books include Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope and In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness. She was a co-editor of The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. She is an ordained American Baptist clergywoman, and holds a doctorate from Northwestern University in Religion in Society and Personality.

The Antoinette Brown Lecture Series began in 1974 with a gift to Vanderbilt Divinity School by Sylvia Sanders Kelly of Atlanta, a 1954 Vanderbilt graduate. It is named for Antoinette Brown Blackwell, an abolitionist and feminist who became the first woman ordained to the Christian ministry in the United States in 1853.

The Antoinette Brown Lecture Series is sponsored by Vanderbilt Divinity School; the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center; the Office of Women’s Concerns at Vanderbilt Divinity School; The Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality; the Women’s Studies program at Vanderbilt; and the University Lectures Committee at Vanderbilt.

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS

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