M. Shawn Copeland is a tenured associate professor of Systematic Theology in the Department of Theology and holds an appointment in the Program in African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College. Copeland is a former Convenor of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS), an interdisciplinary learned association of Black Catholic scholars, and is recognized as one of the most important influences in North America in drawing attention to issues surrounding African American Catholics, and was the first African American and first African American woman to serve as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA).
Copeland has lectured extensively in the United States and has authored more than 100 articles, reviews, and book chapters, and co-edited two volumes of the international theological journal Concilium. She is the author of The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille (Paulist Press 2009), of Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being (Fortress Press, November 2010), and the principal editor of Uncommon Faithfulness: The Black Catholic Experience (Orbis Books 2009).
She is the recipient of five honorary degrees. She has been recognized for her theological scholarship by the Black Religious Scholars Group of the American Academy of Religion and by Barry University with the Yves Congar Award for Excellence in Theology; her advocacy has been recognized by the Sojourner Truth Award from the Black Women’s Community Development Foundation.