Dr. Shawnee M. Daniels-Sykes

Dr. Shawnee M. Daniels-Sykes,Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Shawnee M. Daniels Sykes, PhD, is a Professor of Theology and Ethics at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A Registered Nurse by trade, Dr. Daniels-Sykes is the only Black Catholic female Health Care Ethicist in the United States.

Dr. Daniels Sykes received her doctorate from Marquette University in Religious Studies with a specialization in Theological Ethics and a sub-specialization in Bioethics. She is a faculty member in the Theology Collaborative for Ascension Health Care USA, where she teaches an online course on Moral Theology and Catholic Social Teaching for Ascension Health Care Executive Leaders. During the summers, she teaches the course Moral Questions in the Black Community at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana where she is an adjunct Associate Professor.

As a Catholic theological ethicist, her research interests lie in beginning of life issues, middle of life issues, and end of life issues, especially as these relate to institutionalized race, class, and gender oppression. She has an array of items in print media and verbal communications, such as book chapters, articles in peer reviewed journals, popular journals, podcasts, radio interviews, and webinars. She is also a national and international speaker.


Delimiting Religious Liberty:  Upholding Queerness in the Body of Christ

In this lecture, I contend that queerness in the Body of Christ must be upheld. Too many times, however, the Catholic Church and other ecclesial institutions pose barriers to authentically modeling Jesus’ ministry and mission, while delimiting religious liberty. Yet, when one reflects on the life of Jesus Christ, one sees someone who lived comfortably in a very countercultural context, challenging the status quo and cultural imperialism. One sees Jesus Christ upholding queerness in the body of Christ, emphasizing and demonstrating what right relationships of justice and love mean for all of us.

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