M. Shawn Copeland Honored for a Lifetime of Distinguished Theological Achievement

M. Shawn Copeland, professor of theology at Boston College, received the John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America. The award is given in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished theological achievement. Named for an influential American Jesuit theologian (and Boston College alumnus), the John Courtney Murray Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Catholic Theological Society of America, the principal association of Catholic theologians in North America and the largest professional society of theologians in the world.

The society described Dr. Copeland as a “prolific, profound and pioneering scholar” who has “contributed generously to the academy, to the pastoral life of the church and to the community.” She is the first African American to receive the award.

Professor Copeland is well-known for her research and teaching on theological anthropology and political theology as well as the African and African American intellectual history and religious experience. She is the author and co-editor of several books, including the forthcoming Knowing Christ Crucified: The Witness of African American Religious Experience (Orbis, 2018).

Dr. Copeland has taught at Boston College since 2003. Earlier, she taught at Marquette University, Yale University, and Xavier University of Louisiana. A graduate of what is now Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, Professor Copeland holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston College.

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