Emilie Townes

Emilie Townes's picture

Professor Townes’s teaching and general research interests focus on Christian ethics, womanist ethics, critical social theory, cultural theory and studies, as well as on postmodernism and social postmodernism. Her specific interests include health and health care; the cultural production of evil; analyzing the linkages among race, gender, class, and other forms of oppression; and developing a network between African American and Afro-Brazilian religious and secular leaders and community-based organizations. Among her many publications are Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil, In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness and Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health and a Womanist Ethic of Care; . Prior to her appointment at Vanderbilt as dean and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society, Professor Townes was the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School and the Carolyn Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She served as president of the American Academy of Religion in 2008 and is the current president of the Society for the Study of Black Religion (2013-2016). Professor Townes is an ordained American Baptist clergywoman.

Recent Posts by Author

Rape.  The total loss of control over one’s body.  Violence. Humiliation.  Lack of consent.  Abuse.  Despoliation.  Violation. More >
Dungeons can be in our minds where we hold people captive to the illusions we have about them, but we think they are real, they are true, they are valid, and they sanction our treatment of them. . More >
The third event that changed my attitude [of moving from the realm of privacy to my involvement in the peace movement] was my study of the prophets of ancient Israel, a study on which I worked for several years until its publication in 1962. From them I learned the niggardliness of our moral comprehension, the incapacity to sense the depth of misery caused by our own failures. More >
As a daughter of a molecular biologist who was also a faithful tither to her church, I grew up in a world that saw no clear separation between science and religion.  It was in the air I breathed and the way in which I learned to see the world. More >
I’ve been following the uproar and then tamping down of the remarks Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson made in a recent GQ interview that equated homosexuality with bestiality, homosexuals as terrorists, and Black folk being happy in the pre-Civil Rights South.  Later, Robinson issued a statement to explain his remarks: More >