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Scholars Discuss Chapel Dean Luke Powery’s New Book ‘Becoming Human’ [Online]

In this online conversation, Duke Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery discusses his latest book, "Becoming Human: The Holy Spirit and the Rhetoric of Race," with two leading scholars in fields that are important to the book. Register here at no cost for the Zoom webinar: Dean Powery, an associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School, is joined by the Rev. Dr. Willie James Jennings, associate professor of systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale University Divinity School, and Dr. Charmaine Royal, the Robert O. Keohane Professor of African and African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine and Community Health at Duke University. In "Becoming Human," Dean Powery contrasts a view of humanity that sees race as essential and valuing some bodies over others with a theological understanding of humanity, shaped by the biblical account of Pentecost, that sees the diversity of human bodies as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A graduate of Duke University, Dr. Jennings is a systematic theologian who teaches in the areas of theology, black church and Africana studies, as well as post-colonial and race theory. The author of a number of books, he wrote "The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race," which has become a standard text read in colleges, seminaries, and universities. He is the recipient of the 2015 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his groundbreaking work on race and Christianity. In the foreword for Becoming Human, Dr. Jennings writes, "Powery is bringing together these two questions-where can we hide from the Spirit of God, and how is it that we can resist the Spirit of God-at the site of race and the racial condition of the Western world." Dr. Royal directs the Duke Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference and the Duke Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation. Her research, scholarship, and teaching focus on ethical, social, scientific, and clinical implications of human genetics and genomics research, particularly issues at the intersection of genetics and "race." Her specific interests and primary areas of work include genetics and genomics in African and African Diaspora populations; sickle cell disease and trait; public and professional perspectives and practices regarding "race," ethnicity, and ancestry; genetic ancestry inference; and broadly defined genotype-environment interplay.


Civic Engagement/Social Action, Humanities, Research, Social Sciences