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Peter J. Paris, the Elmer G. Homrighausen Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary, will deliver the baccalaureate address at Lafayette College at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 20.

At the College’s 165th Commencement exercises, to be held at 2:15 p.m. that afternoon, he will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

George F. Will will deliver the commencement address and will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. Both the baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies will be held outdoors on the Skillman Library Plaza.

Paris has been Homrighausen Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary since 1985 and is the seminary’s liaison to Princeton University’s Afro-American Studies Program. Paris’ book Social Teaching of the Black Churches, published in 1985 by Fortress Press, is frequently used as a required text for introductory courses in theological seminaries across the country. The book, says its author, “demonstrates the ambiguous nature of black American moral, political, and religious life as it struggles to deal with the duality of being black on the one hand and American on the other.”

His most recent book is The Spirituality of African Peoples: The Search for a Common Moral Discourse, published in 1994 by Fortress Press. He is also author of Black Religious Leaders: Conflict in Unity, published in 1992 by Westminster John Knox Press.

Paris is coeditor of a new book, The Creator, the Powers, and the Principalities on the Common Life, forthcoming in June 2000 from Morehouse Publishing Company. He is also coeditor of Justice and the Holy: Essays in Honor of Walter Harrelson, published in 1989 by Scholars Press.

He holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago, and bachelor of arts and bachelor of divinity degrees from Acadia University, Nova Scotia. He was named University of Chicago Divinity School Alumnus of the Year in 1995.

From 1972 to 1985 Paris held the ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor of ethics and society at Vanderbilt University. He was an instructor at Howard University from 1970 to 1972, and an instructor in the Urban Studies Program of the Associate Colleges of the Mid-West from 1969 to 1970.

Paris was born and raised in Nova Scotia and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1982. In addition to his teaching and writing, Paris, an ordained Baptist minister, is an active member of the First Baptist Church in Princeton, serves on the Princeton Affordable Housing Commission, and is president of the board of trustees of the Princeton Young Achievers. President of the Society for the Study of Black Religion and vice president of the Society for Values in Higher Education, he is also a past president of both the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics. Paris is also the senior editor of the New York University series Religion, Race, and Ethnicity and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He is a member of the board of trustees of New York Theological Seminary and of the Baptist Union of the University of Chicago Divinity School.

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