Theologian Maureen O’Connell has written a personal and historical examination of white Catholic anti-Blackness in the U.S. and a call for meaningful racial healing and justice within Catholicism. In Undoing The Knots: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness (Beacon Press, 2022), O’Connell excavates her Catholic family’s entanglements with race and racism from the time they immigrated to America to the present, and traces, by implication, why, despite the tenets of their faith, so many white Catholics have lukewarm commitments to racial justice. O’Connell, who earned a Ph.D. in theological ethics from BC’s Theology Department, is an associate professor of Christian ethics at La Salle University. She is also author of Compassion: Loving Our Neighbor in an Age of Globalization and the award-winning If These Walls Could Talk: Community Muralism and the Beauty of Justice. Emma McDonald, a doctoral candidate in theological ethics at Boston College, penned a review of Undoing the Knots for Commonweal magazine.
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