Maureen H. O’Connell is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics in the Department of Religion and Theology at La Salle University. She holds a BA in History from Saint Joseph’s University and a PhD in Theological Ethics from Boston College. She authored Compassion: Loving Our Neighbor in an Age of Globalization (Orbis Books, 2009) and If These Walls Could Talk: Community Muralism and the Beauty of Justice (The Liturgical Press, 2012), which won the College Theology Book of the Year Award in 2012 and the Catholic Press Association’s first place for books in theology in 2012. Her current research project will be forthcoming with Beacon Press in 2021 and explores the interplay between being Catholic and “becoming anti-black” across five generations of her family’s history in the City of Philadelphia. She received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator award in 2017 from both La Salle University and from the District of North Eastern North America, one of the provinces of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. She is a member of the national Lasallian Education Council, where she chairs a national ad hoc committee on advocacy. She is a member of POWER (Philadelphians Organizing to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild), an interfaith coalition of more than 50 congregations committed to making Philadelphia the city of “just love” through community organizing. She serves the Board for the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies; Cranaleith Spiritual Center, a ministry of the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Northeast Philadelphia; and Rosemont College, where she is a member of the President’s Commission on the Legacy of Slavery.
We aren’t chosen by the authority figures of empires, no matter what religious or political guises they moralize with or campaign in or what certainties they claim to offer or platitudes they attempt to ply us with. We are chosen by God. And the God who chooses us has a dream for us—the individual us and the collective us—that surpasses the imagination of empire.VIEW