The Rev. Dr. Shanell T. Smith, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, presented a lecture on April 24th entitled ?The Marks of Empire: A Message from the Woman ?Babylon? in the Book of Revelation to the City of Hartford.? By reading the woman Babylon?s text from a postcolonial womanist perspective, Dr. Smith highlighted the woman Babylon?s simultaneous ambivalent identification as a ?brothel slavewoman? and as an ?empress/imperial city.? This conflicting reality was also discussed from a personal perspective and in the broader context of life in Hartford.
The Woman ?Babylon? lecture drew more than 70 participants from a wide variety of groups from the Greater Hartford area including alumni, current students, friends of the Seminary, members of various local congregations and bible study groups, local Hartford non-profit administrators, local school administrators, Hartford Seminary faculty and other community members. In a lively question and answer period followed the presentation during which Prof. Smith encouraged participants to use their special gifts to work together to make Hartford a better place to live, building a community in which all members collaborate to address local problems.
The Rev. Dr. Shanell T. Smith is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins. Smith teaches postcolonial, feminist and womanist forms of Biblical interpretation. She earned a Ph.D. at The Theological School of Drew University and a Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Smith has written ?A Perspective on Revelation? in Global Perspectives on the Bible? (Pearson Prentice Hall, forthcoming).