M. Shawn Copeland is Professor of Systematic Theology in the Department of Theology with a joint appointment in the Program in African and African Diaspora Studies in the Morrissey College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston College.
Copeland’s research interests run in three intersecting lines: The first focuses on shifts in theological understanding of the human person or theological anthropology and accords particular attention to body, gender, and race; suffering, solidarity, and the cross of Jesus of Nazareth. The second interrogates the African American Catholic experience, and aims to thematize an African American Catholic theology. Here her research attends to theological method and history, religious and cultural aesthetics, spirituality and traditioning. The third line of research takes up issues pertinent to political or praxis-based theologies and analyzes the religious, cultural, and social conditions under which human persons may flourish.
She is the author of Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being (Fortress Press, November 2010), The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille (Paulist Press 2009), the principal editor of Uncommon Faithfulness: The Black Catholic Experience (Orbis Books 2009), and editor (with Jeremy Wilkins) of Grace and Friendship: Theological Essays in Honor of Fred Lawrence (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2016). She has authored more than 125 articles, reviews, and book chapters, and along with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza has co-edited two volumes of the international theological journal Concilium: Violence Against Women (1/1994) and Feminist Theologies in Different Contexts (1996/1).
Professor Copeland is a former Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS), an interdisciplinary learned association of Black Catholic scholars. She was the first African American and first African American woman to serve as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA).