The Projects of Dr. Cooper: Sexuality, Liberation, Development, & Translation

Posted on February 26th, 2020 by

In November 2017, Dr. Cooper published her second book, A Christian Guide to Liberating Desire, Sex, Partnership, Work, and Reproduction (Palgrave Pivot). It began in response to the numerous conversations Dr. Cooper was having students about sexual ethics. The predominant assumption among these students, she found, was that Christianity had nothing to say about sex, and that good sexual relationships squarely meant “no sex before marriage.” From these conversations, several questions arose: What counts as sex in Christian life? What is “good sex”? What is “bad sex”? This book is her attempt to answer those questions.

Dr. Cooper’s latest book is called A Theology of International Development, and will appear this spring with Routledge.

Dr. Cooper’s first book, Controversies in Political Theology: Development or Liberation? (published in 2007), argued that while the theology of liberation is clear in its intent and process, a theology of development did not actually exist. Asked to write a follow-up to Controversies (since there are many Christians and agencies working in the field of development and aim to do so from Christian principles), this book attempts to answer the question: What would development based on Christian practices look like?

The new book is divided into two parts: theology and practice. In the first section, Dr. Cooper argues for an understanding of power as empowerment, the need for justice rather than charity, and a need to walk with the marginalized. The second section offers suggestions for how to work toward empowerment, how to move beyond the capitalist economic system, and how to work at the intersections of marginalization.

The book is a powerful call to upend development practice as it currently exists and to return faith-based organizations to following Christian practices.

In addition to her book projects, Dr. Cooper translates an article or two for each new issue of the journal Concilium: International Journal for Theology, from either Portuguese or Spanish into English. Her most recent translations include:

  • “Letter from a Reluctant Indian” by Lukas Avendaño (2019/5)
  • “Spiritual resistance of the first peoples” byAtilano A. Ceballos Loeza (2019/4)
  • “Monsignor Romero, human being, Christian and honorable archbishop” by Jon Sobrino SJ (2019/3)
  • “The Periphery in the Centre” by Luiz Kohara (2019/1)

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