February 17, 2003

Fry Brown to speak, Feb. 20

By Jan Gleason

Emory’s next Great Teachers Lecture Series event will feature Teresa Fry Brown of the Candler School of Theology, who will discuss “Transformative Voices: Speak-ing Liberty and Justice for All,” on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Miller-Ward Alumni House.

Fry Brown will examine how public figures speak about gender, race and ethnicity, and suggest ways to be more careful and more care-filled in public rhetoric.

“The ways in which we use language in public settings can sometimes be more oppressive than liberating,” she said. “I’m going to examine how language currently is used in public sacred rhetoric and in the political arena and suggest ways to be more inclusive in how we articulate faith statements.”

Fry Brown said a public example of language that needs to be transformed is the singing of “God Bless America” in many public settings in the wake of Sept. 11.

“Implicit in this is the sense that we are asking God to only bless America and not anything that is not American,” she said. “We have to consider the language we use and transform the dialogue so that everyone is affirmed. In processing our values and backgrounds, we’re all going to say things that are not socially acceptable, but we need to find a way to seek justice in our language.”

Fry Brown is assistant professor of homiletics at Candler, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1994. Her research interests include homiletics with an emphasis in African American preaching styles, church history and womanist theology, ethics, sociology and history. She is the author of God Don’t Like Ugly: African American Women Handing on Spiritual Values (Abingdon Press, 2000). Her second book, Weary Throats and New Songs: Black Women Proclaiming God’s Word, will be released by Abingdon in June.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech pathology and audiology from Central Missouri State University, a master of divinity degree from Iliff School of Theology, and a Ph.D. from Iliff and the University of Denver. She is an ordained itinerant minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and serves as the associate pastor of New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lithonia. Prior to enrolling at Iliff, Fry Brown worked as a speech-language pathologist.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Center
for Lifelong Learning at 404-727-6000.






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