posted March 19, 2012

Chávez Lecture Series to Focus on Christian Humanism

The annual César Chávez Lecture Series at Hope College will feature the keynote address “Dare We Be Human? César Chávez and the Challenge of Christian Humanism” by Dr. Edgardo Colón-Emeric of the Divinity School of Duke University on Thursday, March 29, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Colón-Emeric is assistant professor of theology and founding director of the Hispanic House of Studies at Duke Divinity School.  He is an ordained minister in the North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, where he has served as pastor for Hispanic ministries.

His research and teaching bring Wesleyan and Thomistic theology into conversation with questions emerging from the Hispanic context.  His book “Wesley, Aquinas and Christian Perfection” received the 2008 Aquinas Dissertation Prize from Ave Maria University, and his current project explores the significance of the theology of Bartolomé de las Casas for contemporary Christian social engagement.

Colón-Emeric is board member and former chair of Latino Community Credit Union, an organization devoted to economic development among recent immigrants; he serves as the director for the Course of Theological Studies Program in El Salvador, and he is regularly involved in ecumenical dialogues on behalf of the United Methodist Church and the World Methodist Council.

Colón-Emeric graduated from Cornell University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, and also earned a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont in 1994, a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in 1997 and a doctorate from Duke University in 2007.  He is a native of Puerto Rico; he has been married to Cathleen for 20 years and is the father of Nate and Ben.

The César Chávez celebration at Hope is named in honor of César E. Chávez (1927-93), who played a leading role in the 1960s in organizing the nation’s migrant farm workers, and was the first head of the National Farm Workers Association, later the United Farm Workers. March 31, his birthday, is the official César E. Chávez Day of Service and Learning, which is a holiday in multiple states, including Michigan, and dozens of cities and counties throughout the nation.  The lecture series is organized by the college’s Dean for International and Multicultural Education, Office of Multicultural Education and La Raza Unida student organization.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.