Myes Hall

News Around The Hollow

Professor’s Groundbreaking Book On Urban Studies Earns Accolades

February 5, 2010  
 Filed in Headlines, Humanities

Springfield, Ohio – The groundbreaking book Doing Justice In Our Cities by Wittenberg Professor of Religion and Director of Urban Studies Warren Copeland was recently named one of the “Top 10 Books to Guide Us in 2010″ by e-zine ReadtheSpirit.com.

After introducing the book’s premise and providing background information on Copeland, Crumm, a former columnist with the Detroit Free Press and editor of ReadtheSpirit.com, writes online: “What’s so eye-opening about this book – and what places it on our list of truly enlightening new books for 2010 – is precisely this sleeves-rolled-up specificity in Copeland’s approach. Lots of other good books inspire us to feed the hungry or donate to poverty-relief programs, but Copeland opens up his briefcase and gets down to the nitty gritty of making a difference in a real-life city.”

ReadtheSpirit.com is a Web site produced by multimedia publishing company David Crumm Media, LLC, which focuses on religion and spirituality. ReadtheSpirit.com is operated by “a network of professionals, including writers, editors, photographers, artists, clergy, scholars and people from other disciplines, who are building cooperative partnerships to produce books, Web content and videos.”

Copeland is currently on leave as faculty director of Wittenberg’s Center for Civic & Urban Engagement while he serves as interim provost for the university. He is the first person elected mayor directly by the voters of Springfield in more than 90 years. He has served the city as a commissioner since 1988 and has served three terms as mayor, covering more than 15 of those years.

In his career, he has studied urban policies and analyzed pressing city issues while also dealing with the realities of everyday life as a politician, all of which provides him with a unique perspective. As far as Copeland knows, he is the only person in America who teaches ethics and is mayor of a city of more than 60,000 people.

Released July 20, Doing Justice In Our Cities is Copeland’s fourth book. Economic Justice and Issues Of Justice (co-editor) were both published in 1988, while And The Poor Get Welfare was published in 1994. All three of those books have examined religious social ethics.

Copeland said the book’s central thesis is that “the nature of contemporary American cities is itself an ethical problem. We have been sorting ourselves out primarily by income into homogenous neighborhoods, typically leaving behind those with the least amount of money in inner city neighborhoods. That creates problems of urban education, crime – all the things that people think of as negatives in cities.”

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