June 7, 2020

by Christina Littlefield Some of you may have considered me harsh recently in calling out a specific person who has been promoting Christian nationalist propaganda in at least two Thousand Oaks churches over the last 17 months. She defriended me. Please know I tried civil pathways, and have let calls to civility and to church unity silence me for the last year. After the national scene in Lafayette Park, my conscience will no longer allow me to remain silent. Please... Read more

June 7, 2020

While researching for our book, The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, Amanda Nell Edgar and I interviewed several white people of faith who supported and affirmed Black Lives. They attended protests and they were active in other social movements that centered Black lives. In short, they publically declared their allegiance to the radical idea that Black Lives Matter. However, when asked how their faith lead them to protest or to serve in those other movements, many... Read more

June 4, 2020

by Rev. Wallis C. Baxter III, Ph.D. What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore— And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over— like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.  Or does it explode? Langston Hughes, “Harlem” (1951, 1959) In Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem,” the poet asks the question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Dreams,... Read more

June 1, 2020

Back in 2015, I wrote a piece on this blog about the shooting death of Samuel DuBose at the hands of a then University of Cincinnati Police officer named Ray Tensing. The prosecutor indicted him after the bodycam footage showed Tensing shooting the unarmed Black man in the face while he sat in his car. The state tried Tensing twice, but after the second trial also came back as a mistrial, the state decided not to try him again. Later,... Read more

February 13, 2020

by Sam Perry In the afterglow of an impeachment acquittal and coming off a State of the Union address that fit the model of reality TV spectacle, President Donald Trump delivered remarks at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Following a prayer by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that called on listeners to live a life where “the names of the persecuted always live on our lips” and a call by Dr. Arthur Brooks to remember the biblical imperative to... Read more

December 20, 2019

The leading evangelical magazine Christianity Today shocked the political world by publishing an op-ed that called for the removal of President Trump. In a strong rebuke of his leadership, Christianity Today‘s editor in chief Mark Galli wrote, “The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.” Galli... Read more

November 26, 2019

  Journal of Communication and Religion Special Issue: A Womanist Rhetorical Vision for Building the Beloved Community   Guest Editor: Annette Madlock Gatison, Ph.D. In some progressive religious spaces, one might hear calls to “Build the Beloved Community.” The term “Beloved Community” was coined by the early twentieth-century philosopher Josiah Royce (1855-1916). However, many learned it not from Royce but from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who often spoke of the “Beloved Community.” In Dr. King’s Beloved Community,... Read more

July 16, 2019

by Katherine Whitfield and Andre E. Johnson Industry leaders recognize Tyler Perry as one of the most successful Black entertainers of all time.1 As the first African American to own a major film studio, Perry has also realized success as an actor, playwright, filmmaker, and producer. Even those who have never seen a Tyler Perry production will likely recognize his name as synonymous with that of his signature character, Madea. Though Perry has expanded his focus in recent years to include... Read more

July 4, 2019

by Sam Perry As a professor, I have had students debate with one another whether or not Christianity contributes to racial inequality or racist practice. Last fall, one student argued faithfully and fervently that St. Thomas Aquinas would have objected to the Holocaust while another student pointed to Aquinas’s just war theory and argued that perhaps Christianity is quite a vessel for violence. I struggle with what faith might mean in contemporary environments and political situations. As I read about... Read more

June 25, 2019

Courtney Pace, Freedom Faith: The Womanist Vision of Prathia Hall, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2019). ISBN: 9780820355061. Freedom Faith is the first full-length critical study of Rev. Dr. Prathia Laura Ann Hall (1940–2002), an undersung leader in both the civil rights movement and African American theology. Freedom faith was the central concept of Hall’s theology: the belief that God created humans to be free and assists and equips those who work for freedom. Hall rooted her work simultaneously in social justice, Christian... Read more

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