THE 11th ANNUAL THEOLOGY & PEACE CONFERENCE:
“ACCEPTING THE INVITATION TO THE BELOVED COMMUNITY”
AMERICAN BAPTIST COLLEGE, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
MONDAY, MAY 21 – THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018
To commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., American Baptist College presents the Eleventh Annual Conference of Theology & Peace. Dr. King presented an inspiring vision of the Beloved Community as the aftermath of fear, division, and violence, a vision for which he gave his life. At this point in our history, we are presented with a choice between violence or peacemaking, curses or blessings, chaos or community, rivalry or reconciliation, a way that leads to death or one that leads to life. We are once again invited to incarnate Dr. King’s dream by healing our divisions, by affirming our common identity as children of God, and by living into the Beloved Community.
PLENARY SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
DR. FORREST E. HARRIS, SR., President of American Baptist College Twenty-eight years in theological education and as Director of Black Church Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Professor Forrest E. Harris has become nationally recognized as being one of the most progressive scholars, theological educators and visionary for prophetic Christianity in the Black Church tradition. Harris holds a B.A. from Knoxville College, Th.B. from American Baptist College, M. Div. and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Vanderbilt University Divinity School where he was a Benjamin E. Mays Fellow and received the Florence Conwell prize for preaching. Harris is accredited with the distinction of making a significant contribution to the academy and the church by bridging academic theology with the practical ministry needs of the church.
Dr. Harris has published three books: What Does It Mean To Be Black and Christian: The Pulpit, Pew and the Academy in Dialogue (Townsend Press); and Ministry for Social Crisis: Theology and Praxis in the Black Church Tradition (Mercer University Press), and What Does It Mean To Be Black and Christian: The Meaning of the African American Church.
THE REV. THEE SMITH PH.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Emory University Thee’s expertise includes diversity training, interfaith conflict resolution, and human rights advocacy. As an African-American he maintains an activist commitment to economic equity for all people and advanced democracy in the U.S. and abroad. Thee Smith’s award-winning 1994 book, Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America spans the fields of religion and theological studies, African-American spirituality and violence studies. Also in 1994 he co-edited the multi-authored book, Curing Violence.
BECCA STEVENS, Founder of Thistle Farms Becca is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. After experiencing the death of her father and subsequent child abuse when she was 5, Becca longed to open a sanctuary for survivors offering a loving community. In 1997, five women who had experienced trafficking, violence, and addiction were welcomed home.
REV. JEANNIE ALEXANDER, Director of No Exceptions Prison Collective, a legal and educational advocacy organization with and on behalf of prisoners and their families. No Exceptions works through a combination of litigation, legislation, and grass roots movement building in collaboration with prisoners, free world individuals, houses of worship, and other like minded organizations. No Exceptions’ primary focus areas are sentencing reform, and internal prison conditions.
VISIT TO THISTLE FARMS
AMERICAN BAPTIST COLLEGE
1800 Baptist World Center Drive
Nashville, TN 37207
A historically black college, ABC has, since 1924, prepared graduates for leadership, ministry and social justice. ABC has a rich history of involvement in the civil rights movement.