Greg EllisonGregory Ellison, assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling at Candler, received a $31,200 award from the Louisville Institute First Book Grant Program for Minority Scholars. The grant is for his 2012-13 sabbatical year project, “The Silent Fraternity: Minority Male Traumas and the Mystical Power of Silence.”

“This is wonderful affirmation of Greg’s research and scholarly standing, and I am delighted,” wrote Candler Dean Jan Love in an email announcing the award.

Ellison’s work will explore how African American men deal with culturally stigmatized traumas such as prostate cancer and pregnancy loss. The project is  interdisciplinary, drawing from the fields of pastoral care, mystical theology and public health, and will examine the utility of the fraternal orders that African American men form to deal with traumas, raise awareness of socially taboo traumas, and propose practices or care to inform Christian communities seeking to assist African American men. The work will include a practical theological exploration of how 20th and 21st century Christian mystics have used silence to promote healing.

The Louisville Institute’s First Book Grant Program for Minority Scholars seeks to assist junior religion scholars of color to complete a major research and book project, focusing on some issue pertaining to American Christianity.