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CANCELED: 2018 Antoinette Brown Lecturer studies diverse families

by Mar. 16, 2018, 4:13 PM

Thelathia “Nikki” Young is assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and religion at Bucknell University.

UPDATE 3/21/18: The March 22 Antoinette Brown Lecture featuring Thelathia “Nikki” Young has been canceled due to inclement weather in Pennsylvania. The Divinity School looks forward to rescheduling the lecture for the fall.

Bucknell University ethicist Thelathia “Nikki” Young, whose research includes the moral systems people generate based on Christian beliefs—with a focus on black, queer and transgender people—will deliver Vanderbilt Divinity School’s 2018 Antoinette Brown Lecture March 22.

Young, an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and religion, will speak on “Willful Behavior, Inherent Value, and Moral Imagination: The Making of a Black Queer Ethic” at 7 p.m. in Benton Chapel.

“We find ourselves in the midst of a neoliberal resurgence of moral depravity, and many of us are searching for new (or old) ways forward,” Young said. “To contribute to such a search, my lecture will explore the connection between womanist theo-ethical moral frameworks, black feminist political perspectives, and a queer afrofuturity underwritten by black queer imaginative work. The question on which I base the quest is this: What moral possibilities exist beyond the doors of liberation, and what might we need to unlock (or break down) to find them?”

Young is the author of Black Queer Ethics, Family, and Philosophical Imagination (2016). She completed her doctorate in Christian ethics at Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion, where she also earned a master of divinity and a master of theology. Young earned a bachelor of arts in biology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Young is a co-convener of the LGBT and Queer Studies Group within the Society for Christian Ethics, co-chair of the Queer Studies in Religion Group in the American Academy of Religion, and a member of the LGBTIQ Persons in the academy’s Profession Task Force.

Young also will be in Nashville to participate in the Souls A’ Fire 6 Conference, a national gathering for black, queer theology and scholarship, March 22–25, at the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church. Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality are partnering with the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies at the Pacific School of Religion to co-host this conference, which will explore issues relating to the intersections of Black Church and LGBTQ identities.

The Antoinette Brown Lecture is made possible by a gift from Sylvia Sanders Kelley of Atlanta. The lectures began in 1974 and are intended to “bring to the school distinguished women theologians to speak on concerns for women in ministry.” The lectureship is named for Antoinette Brown, the first woman ordained to the Christian ministry in the United States in 1853. Previous lecturers have included Sallie McFague, Mary Ann Tolbert, Renita Weems, Emilie Townes, Catherine Keller, Ellen Armour, Bonnie Miller-McLemore, Laurel Schneider and Catherine Keller.

For more information, email Sha’Tika Brown or call (615) 936-8453.

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