Spirituality and Public Life: A talk by Serene Jones
Serene Jones is the inaugural speaker for the Initiative on Spirituality and Public Life at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.
Jones is the 16th president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she also holds the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy. Jones is the first woman to head this historic institution, which was founded in 1836 and is the oldest independent seminary in the United States. Jones joins a long line of leading public intellectuals that have been part of Union’s faculty, including Reinhold Neibuhr, Paul Tillich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, James Cone, Delores Williams, Cornel West and Michelle Alexander.
Jones is the author or editor of nine books, including “Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety” (1995), “Feminist Theory and Christian Theology: Cartographies of Grace” (2000) and “Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World” (2009; 2nd edition 2019). Her most recent book, “Call It Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World” (2019), is a memoir that offers a vision of a “new, and urgently necessary, public theology” for the twenty-first century.
A popular public speaker, Jones is sought by media to comment on major issues impacting society because of her deep grounding in theology, politics, women’s studies, economics, race studies, history and ethics. Her most recent public writing has appeared in Time Magazine, Salon.com, The Christian Century and USA Today.
Jones is a past president of the American Academy of Religion, which annually hosts the largest gathering of scholars of religion in the world. She joined Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology and chair of the program in women, gender and sexuality studies. She holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Yale Divinity School and Yale University and is an minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.
Jones’s work on trauma and grace in historic, philosophic and religious perspectives makes her an ideal candidate to help launch the Initiative on Spirituality and Public Life at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.
COVID 19 Guidelines: Please keep in mind the CDC recommendations as well as ASU COMMUNITY OF CARE HEALTH PROTOCOLS on how to keep yourself and others healthy. Consistent with ASU’S CURRENT GUIDELINES, face coverings are required during this event and negative COVID tests prior to attending are highly recommended. Face coverings will be available upon entry for those who may have forgotten them.