Joerg & Rosemarie Rieger
Dr. Joerg Rieger is Wendland-Cook Professor of Constructive Theology at Perkins School of Theology, SMU. He will join the faculty of Vanderbilt Divinity School as a distinguished professor in the fall of 2016. For more than two decades he has worked to bring together theology and the struggles for justice and liberation that mark our age. His work addresses the relation of theology and public life and reflects on the misuse of power in religion, politics, and economics. His main interest is in movements and developments that bring about change and the positive contributions of religion and theology. Author and editor of more than 20 books, his most recent books include the forthcoming Unified We Are A Force: Growing Deep Solidarity Between Faith and Labor (with Rosemarie Henkel-Rieger, 2016) and Faith on the Road: A Short Theology of Travel and Justice (2015). His books have been translated into various languages.

Rosemarie Henkel-Rieger is the organizer of Jobs with Justice in North Texas and community outreach coordinator for the Dallas AFL-CIO Central Labor Council. She is also the founder of the non-profit Texas New ERA Center. Together with Joerg Rieger she is the author of the forthcoming book Unified We Are a Force: Growing Deep Solidarity between Faith and Labor (Chalice Press, 2016).

How Faith and Labor Can Overcome America’s Inequalities
Growing disparities between those who have to work for a living (the 99 percent) and those whose wealth and power derives from other sources affect all of us. Worse yet, these disparities shape us all the way to the core in religion, politics, and economics. What might viable alternatives might look like? Traditions from the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, will be presented in order to conceptualize justice from the perspective of the exploited and the oppressed, considering possible divine options for the margins, and how emerging movements of solidarity along the lines of class might shape deep solidarity along the lines of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. This course will combine theological reflection, ethical imagination, and practical suggestions for organizing.