Theophus "Thee" Smith
Additional Contact Information
Department of Religion
537 Kilgo Cir., Callaway S214
Atlanta, GA 30322
Consultant | Facilitator | Author | Speaker
Academic Life & Teaching
Professor Smith was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy (NH), St. John's College (Annapolis), Virginia Theological Seminary (Alexandria), and the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley). His academic and teaching specialties include philosophy of religion, African American religious studies, liberation theology, and religion and violence. Since 1987 he has lived and worked in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, teaching in Emory University's undergraduate Department of Religion and Graduate Division of Religion. He is the author of Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America (Oxford, 1994), and co-editor with Mark Wallace (Swarthmore) of Curing Violence: Essays on René Girard, (Polebridge, 1994). In Fall 2006 Prof. Smith was appointed the Education & Outreach Coordinator of Emory's Strategic initiative on Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding (www.gdr.emory.edu/ircp).
Research & Memberships
Prof. Smith is an occasional member of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), and a founding member of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion. COV&R is an international scholarly society dedicated to exploring the relationship between religion and violence in the generation and maintenance of culture. For its 1999 annual meeting at Emory University he organized the conference: “Violence Reduction in Theory & Practice: From Primates to Nations” (see www.religion.emory.edu/faculty/COVR/COVR99meeting.html). He is also affiliated with Emory's pioneering Law & Religion Program, in which he is specifically engaged in developing "A Normative Practice of Truth and Reconciliation" as informed by South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (See public scholarship and sample essays below).
Service & Religious Vocation
From 1991-98 Thee Smith was the founding director of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute (see www.NCBI.org). NCBI is an international consulting and training organization based in Washington, D.C. that specializes in diversity training, prejudice reduction, and intergroup conflict resolution. In addition he is an active leader in the International Reevaluation Counseling Communities (see www.RC.org for "Co-Counseling"), a worldwide and grassroots peer counseling and activist movement. In addition Rev'd Smith is a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta at the Cathedral of St. Philip, active in the Atlanta Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE), and a board member of the international Community of the Cross of Nails (see www.ccn-northamerica.org/index.html).
Public Scholarship & Social Change
Thee Smith's consulting expertise, workshop facilitation, and speaking engagements are available through Thurman Reconciliation Initiatives (TRI) Inc., a research and educational consultancy that provides "faith-based resources for conflict transformation and social change." From 2003-2006 he has been a founding director of Southern Truth and Reconciliation (STAR) Inc. STAR is a university-community partnership and consulting organization that assists local communities to address their legacy of racial violence through the application of truth and reconciliation practices (www.southerntruth.net) and regional alliances (www.olemiss.edu/winterinstitute/atrr). Samples of Thee Smith's work as a public scholar available online include:
- Virginia Tech: Rethinking Blame
- Time Expansion vs Time Collapse
- Abstract: Deconstructing the Victim-Perpetrator Paradigm
- Fate of Innocents is in Bush's Hands: AJC Feb. 2003
- The Real Terror of the West: Islam vs ‘Usury’
- "Becoming ‘Beloved Community'—or—Beyond Targeting Each Other" (powerpoint presentation)
- "Rescuing Our Faith From Sacred Violence" (Parts 1 & 4) (pdf)
- "Rescuing Our Faith From Sacred Violence" (Parts 2-4) (pdf)
- "Religions Transforming Religions / Religions Transforming Worlds"
- "Eucharistic Social Change: A Concise Theology and Practice"
- "After Violence: Towards A Normative Practice of Truth & Reconciliation"