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College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought & Culture

Koch Chair

Dr. Christopher Pramuk, Fall 2017 Koch Speaker

Monday, October 2, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in Gorecki 204.

Brief Biography

Christopher Pramuk is currently associate professor of theology at Xavier University. In August 2017, he will move to Regis University and begin a new role as the University Chair of Ignatian Thought. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, after graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1987, Chris moved to Colorado to study music, was drawn deeper into Buddhist and Christian spirituality, and began teaching theology at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver. After completing doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame, Chris has been at Xavier University since 2007, teaching courses at the intersection of spirituality, race, the arts, theology, and social justice. He was recently honored as Xavier’s 2015 Teacher of the Year, and is now working on a new textbook inspired by his experience of the transforming power of the arts in the theology classroom.

He is the author of five books, including At Play in Creation: Merton’s Awakening to the Feminine Divine (2015), Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line (2013), and Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton (2009), which was awarded the International Thomas Merton Society’s 2011 “Thomas Merton Award.” His award-winning essays have appeared in America magazine, Theological StudiesCross Currents, and the prayer journal Give Us This Day.

A lifelong musician and student of African American history and spirituality, he spoke recently on race and the legacy of Thomas Merton at the Festival of Faiths in Louisville, joining an interfaith panel that included Ambassador Attallah Shabazz, the eldest daughter of Malcolm X, and Episcopal Bishop Mark Andrus. He blogs regularly and posts resources on spirituality and race at HopeSingsSoBeautiful.org.

Here is a brief description of the lecture:

In his book Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line, Dr. Christopher Pramuk suggests that racism and racial injustice are symptoms of a profound poverty and captivity of imagination. The poets and prophets, artists and saints – from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thomas Merton to Stevie Wonder, James Baldwin, and Sr. Thea Bowman – invite people of good will to stand together courageously in the breach between what is and what is possible, daring us to imagine a world of cross-racial friendship, justice, and solidarity. Drawing especially from the music of Stevie Wonder and the work of Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor, Dr. Pramuk will explore with us the fertile boundaries between the artistic and prophetic imagination bent toward racial justice.