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Chicago Catholics and the Quest for Interracial Justice

Jul 23, 2020
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Karen JohnsonWheaton College

Cecilia MooreUniversity of Dayton

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Free and open to the public. This event will be held online through Zoom. Registrants will be sent a link to the Zoom event or to a secondary livestream. Co-sponsored by the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago the Department of Catholic Studies at DePaul University, Calvert House Catholic Center, the Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University and the Seminary Co-op Bookstore,

With parish boundaries often mapping onto segregation lines, it might appear that the possibilities of Catholic efforts towards racial justice were eliminated from the start. This picture, however, is incomplete. Karen Johnson’s book, One in Christ: Chicago Catholics and the Quest for Interracial Justice (Oxford University Press, 2018) uncovers the story of lay white and Black Catholics working on the ground towards interracial justice from the 1930’s to the late 1960’s, driven by a radical vision of the mystical body of Christ. Join for a conversation between historian of race and religion, Karen Johnson (Wheaton College), and Black Catholic historian Cecilia Moore (University of Dayton) on Chicago Catholics and the quest for interracial justice. 

Karen Johnson is Associate Professor of History at Wheaton College. Her research focuses on race and religion in 20th Century America. Professor Johnson received a B.A. in History from Carleton College, an M.A in Christian Thought from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D in History from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to several journal publications and chapters in edited volumes on race and religion, she is the author of One in Christ: Chicago Catholics and the Quest for Interracial Justice (Oxford University Press, 2018), and is a co-editor of a forthcoming volume with Jonathan Yeager, Understanding and Teaching Religion in U.S. History (University of Wisconsin Press).


Cecilia A. Moore is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton and Associate Director of the Degree Program for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. She received her A.B. in History and Religion from Sweet Briar College, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in American Religious History from the University of Virginia. Her area of specialization is U.S. Catholic history and she is currently working on the history of black conversion to Roman Catholicism in the 20th century. Among her many publications related to this conversation are “From the Ivory Tower to the Pews: Theology’s Role in Shaping Catholic Racial Thought and Practice in the Twentieth-Century” in New Theology Review, and “Dealing with Desegregation: Black and White Responses to the Desegregation of the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, 1953” in Uncommon Faithfulness: The Witness of Black Catholics. She is also co-editor of Songs of Our Hearts and Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006), with Dr. C. Vanessa White (Catholic Theological Union) and Fr. Paul Marshall, S.M. (University of Dayton).