Lutheran Studies Conference Schedule

``Black Bodies and the Justice of God``

1 p.m. - 5 p.m. with keynote lecture at 7 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018

Noon – 1 p.m. | Registration in the University Center Upper Lobby

Afternoon lectures (1-5pm) will take place in the Scandinavian Center; The evening keynote (7-8:30) will take place in the Chris Knutzen Hall, Anderson University Center.

1 - 1:15 p.m. | Welcome & Opening remarks: Black Bodies, the Justice of God and the Lutheran Tradition

1:15 - 2:15 p.m. | “Hush No More: Constructing an African American Lutheran Womanist Ethic”

In this lecture, Dr. Wallace will discuss how we need an understanding of the multiple perspectives so that we have a fuller picture of humankind and the needs of God’s people. In particular, Wallace advances her perspective as a womanist theologian, attentive to the experience of black women in the United States, and how this informs Lutheran theology and ethics.

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. | Short break
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. | PLU Alumni, Staff and Administration Panel on Black Bodies and Justice, Ta Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me with responses from Dr. Wallace and Dr. Williams.

Say Her Name: The Impact of white Supremacy on the Bodies of Black Womxn

  • Tolu Taiwo, M.S., Assistant Director for Outreach and Prevention at PLU’s Center for Gender Equity
  • Nicole Jordan, PLU alumnus and Education Specialist
  • Angie Hambrick is the Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Justice, & Sustainability (DJS) at Pacific Lutheran University
  • Aviance Taylor Kamau, Director of Career, Learning and Engagement at PLU

The panelist will explore the question, “how do I live free in this Black body?” posed by Ta-Nehisi Coates in his book, Between the World and Me. Drawing from Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality, we will share letters we might write to our daughters that center our multi-dimensional experiences of being Black Womxn in the United States.

3:45 - 5 p.m. | “Get Me Bodied”: Beyoncè, Bodies, and Blackness

In this session, Dr. Smith and Ms. Taiwo will argue that the visual texts and lyrics of Beyoncè Knowles-Carter–from Self-Titled to Lemonade to Everything is Love–construct progressively radical spaces where Black women hold agency of their bodies. They will explore how Beyoncè’s work presents this agency within the context of Black women as embodied subjects (vs. objects) whose self-love is the foundation of a justice-centered love politics.

5 - 7 p.m. | Dinner break
7 - 8:30 p.m. | Keynote lecture: “Learning Discipleship: Bonhoeffer’s Struggle to Follow Christ in Nazi Germany”


Contact Dr. Marit Trelstad at or Cynthia Givens, Administrative Assistant to the Humanities Division at

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is perhaps the most loved and respected Lutheran theologian. Williams walks us through the development of Bonhoeffer’s theology and resistance to the Nazi party in Germany as it was profoundly shaped by black congregations and theology in the United States. He will speak on the topic of his critically acclaimed book Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus. Bonhoeffer’s “Christ the Center,” built with understandings of faith and Christ in the Black churches, continues to have relevance and meaning for faith and ethics today.