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CSB Koch Chair to speak on racism and racial injustices

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September 8, 2017

Christopher PramukProfessor, musician and author Christopher Pramuk will present the College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, in room 204, Gorecki Center, CSB.

His lecture, “The Arts, Empathy and Racial Justice: Reimagining Together What is Possible,” is free and open to the public and will be based on his 2013 book, “Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line.”

Pramuk will speak on the issues of racism and racial injustices, which he believes are symptoms of a profound poverty and captivity of imagination.

He talks of how prophets, poets and artists encourage people of good will to stand together courageously in the breach between what is and what is possible. He dares people to imagine a world of cross-racial friendship, justice and solidarity. Using examples from musician Stevie Wonder and Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor, Pramuk will talk about the artistic and prophetic practices toward racial justice.

A graduate of the University of Kentucky in 1987, Pramuk moved to Colorado to study music where he was drawn into Christian and Buddhist spirituality. He later finished his doctoral studies at the University at Notre Dame.

Pramuk is the University Chair of Ignatian Thought at Regis University. Prior to this position, he was a theology professor at Xavier University, where he won Xavier’s 2015 Teacher of the Year award.

In the past two decades, Pramuk has written five books, including “At Play in Creation: Merton’s Awakening to the Feminine Divine” (2015) and “Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton” (2009), which was awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 2011.

He currently is working on his sixth book, inspired by his experience of the transforming power of the arts in the theology classroom. His award winning essays have appeared in numerous magazines including America, Theological Studies and Cross Currents.

The Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture CSB was established in 2002 with a gift from former CSB Board of Trustees member Barbara "Babs" Gray Koch and her husband, David Koch of Wayzata, Minnesota.

The intention of the Koch Chair is to provide opportunities for faculty, staff and students at CSB and SJU, and the general public, to gain an enriched understanding of the heritage of Catholic thought that has shaped not only the faith tradition of CSB and SJU but also the pursuit of knowledge across disciplines.

The event is co-sponsored by the CSB/SJU Art Department; Intercultural and International Student Services; the Peace Studies Department; SJU Campus Ministry; and CSB Campus Ministry.