A Congratulations Letter from the Director of Founding Director of the CUNY HAITIAN STUDIES
Below is the letter I received from the Founding Director of the CUNY HAITIAN STUDIES, Jean Eddy Saint Paul, PhD, to acknowledge the accomplishment of my second PhD in Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at the University of Pretoria.
I’m appreciative of this letter and look forward to collaborating with you and the Institute for the advancement of Haitian Studies and the improvement of Haitian lives in the United States and Haiti.
Brooklyn, New York, March 1st, 2017
To Professor Celucien L. Joseph, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English at Indian River State University, FL
Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Texas at Dallas &
Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
RE: Congratulations for your second Doctoral Degree “Doctor of Philosophy”
Dear Professor C. Joseph:
The City University of New York’s Haitian Studies Institute (CUNY-HSI) feels very proud of you and recognizes your academic credentials, as well as your contribution to the field of Haitian Studies. On behalf of the CUNY-HSI, housed at Brooklyn College, I congratulate you for your second Doctoral Degree “Doctor of Philosophy” from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
I am looking forward to establish a world-class research institute to produce first-class investigations on Haiti and the Haitian diaspora, and to link scholarship on Haiti to social actions impacting the lives of Haitian people and other ethnic communities. I encourage you to keep doing this wonderful and impressive work for the advancement of the field.
I wish you many success at the graduation ceremony to be held on 2017-04-06.
Dr. Jean Eddy Saint Paul
Director | CUNY Haitian Studies Institute
The City University of New York | Brooklyn College | 3104 James Hall
Professor | Department of Africana Studies
New book: Chimè et Tontons Macoutes comme milices armées en Haïti.
Facebook: CUNY Haitian Studies Institute
PhD Dissertation Abstract
FAITH, HOPE, AND THE POOR: THE THEOLOGICAL IDEAS AND MORAL VISION OF
Celucien L. Joseph
Supervisor: Prof Vuyani Vellem
Department: Faculty of Theology
University: University of Pretoria
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Theological Ethics, Theological Anthropology,The Poor, Liberation Theology, Violence, Ubuntu
The objective of this research is to examine the theological ideas and moral vision of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and to explore how his theology (and theological hermeneutics and ethics) has influenced his politics of solidarity and social activism on behalf of the oppressed and the poor in Haiti in particular, and the wretched of the earth, in general. Through the use of the postcolonial, decolonial, and Liberation Theology paradigms as hermeneutical and theoretical methods of investigation, the project seeks to answer a threefold question: what is the relationship between theology and social activism and transformation in the thought and writings of Jean-Bertrand Aristide? What is the place and function of the community of faith, the poor, the oppressed, hope, and human liberation in the political theology of Jean-Bertrand Aristide? What is the place of (defensive) violence in Aristide’s theology? Our goal in this scholarly investigation is an attempt to provide an answer to these daunting questions above and to explore more fully and intelligently the theology of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
This present study considers Aristide’s democratic and social justice projects and theological reflections and theological intersections in the disciplines of theological anthropology, theological ethics, and political theology, as he himself engages all four simultaneously. The doctoral thesis locates Aristide’s thought and writings within Black intellectual tradition both in continental Africa and the African Diaspora. It establishes shared intellectual ideas and parallelisms, and strong ideological connections between Aristide and Black theologians and thinkers in both continental Africa and the African Diaspora. On one hand, Aristide’s intellectual ideas and political activism should be understood in the context of the struggle for democracy in Haiti; on the other hand, it is suggested the intellectual articulations and propositions of these Black and African thinkers aim at a common vision: the project to make our world new toward the common good.
While we do not undermine the problem of violence in Aristide’s theology and political program in the context of Haitian history, the doctoral thesis argues that Aristide’s theological anthropology is a theology of reciprocity and mutuality, and correspondingly, his theological ethics is grounded in the theory of radical interactionality, interconnectedness, and interdependence, and the South African humanism of Ubuntu. It also contends that Aristide’s promotion of a theology of popular violence and aggression in the Haitian society should be understood as a cathartic mechanism and defensive violence aimed at defending the Haitian masses against the Duvalier regime and their oppressors.