Moral March Teach-In in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Saturday, February 08, 2014
Discord at the Dinner Table: When Christians Disagree About Basic Justice Issues
Dr. Maria Teresa Dávila, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics
The Moral Mondays movement grounds its rationale and momentum on the biblical witness that declares that justice in the nation is judged according to its treatment of “the widow, the orphan, and the stranger.” For the Christian faith, every state and government is charged with insuring the just distribution of the common good of the land to all its members. And yet, not all Christians interpret the biblical witness in the same way.
This teach-in and discussion, held in conjunction with the Moral March on Raleigh, will try to discuss this tension, by identifying some of the following:
- What are some of the hard discussions you have had (or you think might come up) as a result of your participation in the Moral Mondays movement?
- What is the role of protest to the health of a democracy?
- What are some of the questions people ask about social activism and the Christian faith?
- Where do these questions come from?
- How do I engage other faithful in my family and/or community who do not agree with the goals of the Moral Mondays movement?
- How do we encourage and engage in activism for conversation, cooperation, reconciliation, and change, rather than for alienation and discord?
About the Instructor
M.T. Dávila, Assistant Professor of Christian ethics, is a lay woman in the Roman Catholic tradition. She completed her doctorate at Boston College with a dissertation titled “A Liberation Ethic for the One Third World: The Preferential Option for the Poor and Challenges to Middle-Class Christianity in the United States.” She received her bachelors degree from Brown University and her master in theological studies at the Boston University School of Theology. Her main interests are the intersections of class identity formation and Christian ethics in the U.S. context. Her research looks for the intersection of these issues with respect to the relationship of class and militarism, class and immigration, and class and activism. She is currently undertaking a study of leaders of communities of faith, peace and justice practitioners, and others to examine the relationship between different understandings of discipleship and activism/public witness/faith in action.
Professor Dávila has also published articles and contributions on immigration, the use of force and just war theory, the theology of creation of Paul Tillich, Latina/o Theology, Christianity and U.S. civil society, and the role of the social sciences in Christian ethics. Her academic papers and presentations include discussions of feminist activism in the classroom, Catholic social teaching and the option for the poor, immigration and a sojourner identity, public religion and Christian identity, and race, class, and Christian discipleship in the United States.
Professor Dávila lives in Malden with her family, her husband Rob and four children. She is a member of St. Joseph’s Church, a Roman Catholic parish in Malden.