The King & Faith Lectures

The Urgency of Now

January 13- Feburary 18, 2018 | San Francisco

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About Us

The Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation is very pleased to inaugurate the King & Faith Lectures.
This annual lecture series is part of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration events held yearly in San Francisco each January and is part of our goal of engaging the wider scholarly, theological, clerical and lay communities in contemporary contemplation of Dr. King, his message, and his work. Ultimately, the King & Faith Lectures seek to highlight, through collective engagement, the power of wholeness and healing in the personal and shared contexts.

About The Lectures

The King & Faith Lectures are designed to create a space to critique, analyze and thoughtfully question assumptions about King and faith, King and community, and King and society. The lecture series looks to ignite greater dialogue and programs of action that will infuse “where we go from here.” Key questions about freedom, liberation and mission within the present global paradigm will bring to the forefront the tensions that emerge when confronted with the need to make space for those voices that speak against erasure, simplification, and displacement of the cultural narratives that a truly democratic society needs to survive.

  • Engage with leading thinkers on the tradition of King
  • Dialogue with leading liberation and black religous scholars
  • Take part in a global discussion with African and Caribbean religious traditions
  • Glean from Womanist scholars on clarifying perspectives and scholarship in the field

Presenters and Participants

Charles H. Long is one of the most influential and pioneering scholars in the study of religion from the past 50 years. Long has served on the faculties at the University of Chicago, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Syracuse University and, most recently, the University of California at Santa Barbara where he is professor emeritus. A colleague of Mircea Eliade, Long is among the central philosophical and cultural voices in the nation, reflecting on the deep impact of colonialism on the nature of multiracial societies in the modern era. Considered the preeminent founder and advocate of the study of Black Religion, Long was exploring religion and colonialism and the importance of Afro-American religion as early as the 1960s and early 1970s. Charles Long is the author of some of the most significant works in the study of the history of religions discipline, including Significations: Signs, Symbols and Images in the Interpretation of Religion, a work that has influenced three generations of scholars and continues to influence the discipline. The 2018 King & Faith Lectures is also happy to celebrate Long’s forthcoming work, his last, Ellipsis: The Collected Writings of Charles H. Long, to be made available on February 8.

Dr. Charles H. Long

Professor Emeritus
University of California, Santa Barbara

Rev. Yolanda M. Norton is a PhD candidate in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel and Theology and Practice Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Her current research interests include womanist interpretation, narrative and literary criticism, and the Persian period. In particular, her work focuses on the books of Genesis and Ruth, and how each text treats foreign women, and considers the ways in which insider-outsider paradigms in Scripture influence constructions of identity and facilitate the vilification and/or oppression of women of color who encounter the biblical canon in the modern world.
Professor Norton has published chapters in I Found God in Me: Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader and Global Perspectives in the Old Testament. She also has articles included in a pending publication in Liturgical Press’ new feminist commentary on the Psalms.
Prior to coming to SFTS, Norton was a Visiting Instructor at Moravian Theological Seminary and adjunct faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary. She is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served in various ministerial capacities in the Washington, D.C. area and Nashville, TN.
She holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Syracuse University.

Rev. Yolanda Norton

Asst. Professor of Old Testament
San Francisco
Theological Seminary

Clayborne Carson has devoted his professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movements King inspired. Since receiving his doctorate from UCLA in 1975, Dr. Carson has taught at Stanford University, where he is now Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History and Ronnie Lott Founding Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute.
During his undergraduate years at UCLA, Dr. Carson participated in civil rights and antiwar protests, and many of his subsequent writings reflect his experiences by stressing the importance of grassroots political activity within the African-American freedom struggle. Carson's publications include In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (1981); Malcolm X: The FBI File(1991); The Struggle for Freedom: A History of African Americans (2005, 2010, co-author); and a memoir, Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (2013).
In 1985 the late Coretta Scott King invited Dr. Carson to direct a long-term project to edit and publish an authoritative edition of King's speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. Under Carson’s direction, the King Papers Project has produced seven volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.In 2005 Carson founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute to endow and expand the work of the King Papers Project.
Dr. Carson also served as senior advisor for the award-winning, public television series on the civil rights movement, Eyes on the Prize (1986, 1990). In addition, he has participated in the making of numerous other documentaries, including Freedom on My Mind (1994), which was nominated for an Oscar in 1995, Blacks & Jews (1997), Citizen King (2004), Have You Heard from Johannesburg? a multipart documentary about the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa, Freedom Riders (2011), and Black Panther: Vanguard of a Revolution (2015). The audio version of Carson's edition of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. won a Grammy award in 2000. In addition to his regular courses at Stanford, Carson also teaches an online open enrollment course, American Prophet: The Inner Life and Global Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carson has also written a musical play, "Passages of Martin Luther King," which was first performed by Stanford's drama department in 1993. The international premiere of "Passages" was produced in 2007 by the National Theatre of China. In 2012 the Palestinian National Theatre performed an Arabic vision of "Passages" in East Jerusalem and other Palestinian communities. In 2014, a documentary, El Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine (2013),recounted the difficult process of bringing King's nonviolent message to the Middle East.
In addition to his years of teaching at Stanford, Dr. Carson also taught at the UCLA, the University of California, Berkeley, American University, Emory University, Morehouse College, and l'école des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. He has lectured throughout the United States and in many other nations, including China, India, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Jamaica, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and France. He has appeared on many national radio and television shows, such as Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Fresh Air, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, and Marketplace.

Dr. Clayborne Carson

Director
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute
Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor
Stanford University

Dwight N. Hopkins is a constructive theologian working in the areas of contemporary models of theology, various forms of liberation theologies (especially black and other third-world manifestations), and East-West cross-cultural comparisons. Professor Hopkins is interested in multidisciplinary approaches to the academic study of religious thought, especially cultural, political, economic, and interpretive methods. His latest works are Teaching Global Theologies;The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology; Being Human: Race, Culture, and Religion; Walk Together Children: Black and Womanist Theologies, Church and Theological Education; Another World Is Possible: Spiritualities and Religions of Global Darker Peoples; Loving the Body: Black Religious Studies and the Erotic (coeditor); Heart and Head: Black Theology-Past, Present, and Future; Introducing Black Theology of Liberation; Down, Up and Over: Slave Religion and Black Theology; and Black Faith and Public Talk: Essays in Honor of James Cone's Black Theology and Black Power (editor). His previous texts include Black Theology USA and South Africa: Politics, Culture, and Liberation; Shoes That Fit Our Feet: Sources for a Constructive Black Theology; and We Are One Voice: Essays on Black Theology in South Africa and the USA (coeditor). He is an editor of Religions/Globalizations: Theories and Cases; Changing Conversations: Religious Reflection and Cultural Analysis; and Liberation Theologies, Postmodernity and the Americas. Professor Hopkins is senior editor of the Henry McNeil Turner/Sojourner Truth Series in Black Religion (Orbis Books). He is an ordained American Baptist minister.

Dr. Dwight Hopkins

Host Scholar
Professor of Theology
University of Chicago
Divinity School

The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus is the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California. He was installed as bishop in 2006 — a position of oversight for a diocese comprised of 27,000 communicants in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, and the cities of Los Altos and part of Palo Alto. Prior to his election as Bishop of California, Andrus served as Bishop Suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.
Marc Handley Andrus was born on October 20, 1956, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to Mary Frances and Francis Andrus, and was raised in Kingston, Tennessee. He received his Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1979, and a Masters in Social Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg in 1982. After receiving his masters degree, Andrus went to work as a regional planner for the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission on Virginia's Delmarva Peninsula.
In 1987, Andrus was awarded a Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. After being ordained deacon on June 20, 1987, Andrus became senior associate at Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. While at Church of the Redeemer, Andrus was ordained priest on April 25, 1988. In 1990, Andrus became Chaplain at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, until 1997 when he became Rector of Emmanuel Church in Middleburg, Virginia. He remained rector of Emmanuel until his consecration as Bishop Suffragan for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama on February 7, 2002.
His leadership has focused on key issues related to peace and justice, including immigration reform, climate change, civil rights for LBGT persons, and health care. An example of his local engagement includes co-chairing a community-wide planning process for rebuilding St. Luke’s hospital in San Francisco. Bishop Andrus serves on the boards of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, California Pacific Medical Center, Episcopal Charities, the Episcopal School for Deacons, Episcopal Community Services, and the American Bach Soloists, among other foundations.
Andrus is married to Sheila Andrus, Ph.D., former director of the Sparkman Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Public Health, and they have two adult daughters: Chloé and Pilar.

Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus

Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese
of California

Hope Briggs, a native of New Jersey, drew a rave review from Opera News for her San Francisco Opera debut as the Duchess of Parma in Busoni’s Doktor Faust “... Hope Briggs was stellar, delivering one of the evening’s highlights with her lusciously intoned, lovelorn aria.”
As a critically acclaimed Verdi soprano, Ms. Briggs is known for the depth and beauty of her voluptuous voice. Ms. Briggs is hailed as “an artist of vocal sensitivity, theatrical wisdom and integrity.” Her commanding stage presence and moving interpretations have brought her to great success singing title role in Aida with Nevada Opera, Sacramento Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera and Leonora in Il Trovatore with El Paso Opera, Opera Roanoke and Festival Opera of Walnut Creek as well as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera with Festival Opera of Walnut Creek.
Additional career highlights also include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and The First Lady in Die Zauberflöte at Frankfurt Opera, the Duchess of Parma in Busoni's Doktor Faust at Staatstheater Stuttgart, the role of Paula in the world premiere of Hector Armienta's River of Women and Serena in Porgy and Bess at Tulsa and New Orleans Opera. Additional career highlights are Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Micaëla in Carmen and the title role of Suor Angelica.
On the concert stage, Ms. Briggs has performed: Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Villa-Lobo’s Bachianas Brasileiras, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Hanna in scenes from The Merry Widow with Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915 with the Marin Theater Company and Hailstork’s: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes with the San Antonio Symphony. As a featured soloist, Ms. Briggs’ numerous performances include: The Opening Night Gala Concert with Oakland East Bay Symphony, The Symphony Parnassus at Herbst Theater, The Wondrous Sounds of Christmas at the San Francisco Symphony, Hope Briggs and Friends: A Musical Valentine at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, and the World Premiere of Marion J. Caffey’s Three Mo’ Divas at the Lyceum Theater.
Sought after as a recitalist, she has performed for Oberlin Conservatory, African-Americans for Los Angeles Opera, Madewood Music Festival, Afrosolo Music Festival at the Yerba Buena Performing Arts Center, Concerts at the Abbey in Seattle and Caio Melissa in Spoleto, Italy. By special invitation, Ms. Briggs performed for Jessye Norman at Alliance FrançaiseTrophée des Arts Gala.
She is a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions National Finalist, Metropolitan Opera International Vocal Competition Award Winner, and recipient of an Encouragement Award from the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation. Hope Briggs is also an ABC KGO-TV 2012 African American Salutes Honoree, Marion Anderson Historical Society Scholar and a 2013 Heritage Keeper Award Recipient from Friends of Negro Spirituals. Ms. Briggs will be featured performing the role of Emma Hyer, in the documentary film: Voices for Freedom - The Hyers Sisters' Legacy, airing nationally on PBS in the Fall of 2017.

Hope Briggs

Soprano

Dr. Dorsey Odell Blake was officially installed as Presiding Minister of The Church for The Fellowship of All Peoples in October, 1994. Fellowship Church was founded October 1944, as the nation’s first intentionally interracial, interfaith congregation. Co-founding minister, Dr. Howard Thurman, is considered by many as one of the most extraordinary religious figures of the Twentieth Century. During Dr. Blake's installation service, Mrs. Sue Bailey (Howard) Thurman presented Dr. Thurman’s robe -- which had not been worn since his death – to Dr. Blake as a symbol of her trust in his leading the congregation “so that there will be no past greater than our future.” Dr. Blake had served as the minister for two years prior to his installation.
He is presently Visiting Associate Professor at Pacific School of Religion. Dr. Blake served as Dean of Faculty and Visiting Professor of Spirituality and Prophetic Justice at Starr King School for the Ministry for six years. He served two more years on the Core Faculty until his resignation in January 2015.
Prior to joining the faculty at Starr King, Dr. Blake served as Founding Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and later as Vice President for Community Learning at the University of Creation Spirituality. In addition to responsibilities for curriculum, student and faculty development, he helped to initiate the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration initially held at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church that annually draws over 1,000 people. He has held adjunct faculty positions at Starr King School for the Ministry, California Institute for Integral Studies, and The Union Institute. He has served on numerous dissertation and thesis committees.
Rev. Blake served as the Director of the Center for Urban-Black Studies at the Graduate Theological Union and Core Faculty Member at the GTU; Co-Director, United Campus Ministry, The Ohio University, Athens; and, Program Director of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust, San Francisco. He was also the first full-time Black male professor at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, 1972-77 where he taught in the Religious Studies Department and designed a major in Black Studies.
Dorsey received the A.B. from Brown University, M.A. from Pacific School of Religion and the Center for Urban-Black Studies, M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion, and D.Min. from United Theological Seminary. Dr. Blake has conducted seminars and workshops locally and nationally. He is the recipient of numerous community service awards., including the first Martin Luther King Award for his work with International Students while at The Ohio University where he established the International Students Emergency Fund; The Negro Spirituals Heritage Keepers Award, Friends of Negro Spirituals, 2008; the Faculty, Staff Support Award, Afro-American Association, The University of Alabama, 1977, 1976, 1973, 1972 ( the only times the award was presented); and the Distinguished Alum Award from Pacific School of Religion, 2007. He received academic grants from the Fund for Theological Education and the Danforth Foundation.
He has extensive field ministry experience with interfaith groups addressing justice and peace issues, including the California People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, The Interfaith Alliance for Prison Reform, Genesis and The San Francisco Interfaith Council. He served as a member of the steering committee of Religious Witness with Homeless People and has been in the forefront of peace and justice activities, speaking to small audiences and rallies that have drawn over 200,000 people. In May – June, 2000, he traveled to Morocco with an interfaith delegation of Muslims, Jews, and Christians in a quest to promote interfaith respect and cooperation. In October 2010 he met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and served on an interfaith panel responding to his teachings. Currently, he serves as Board Chair for the Gus Newport Institute, a social justice platform that seeks to empower women and communities of color most affected by today’s economic crisis.

Rev. Dr. Dorsey Odell Blake

Sr. Minister
Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples

Dr. James Anthony Noel

In memoriam
H. Eugene Farlough, Jr. Chair of
African American Christianity
San Francisco Theological Seminary

Event Updates

Here is where you can receive updates on lecture news and information. You can also click below to receive those updates via by connecting to @norcalmlk via Twitter or Facebook.

Event Schedule
(subject to update and expansion)

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MLK2018 Howard Thurman Homily

Dr. Charles H. Long

Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples
2014 Larkin Street
San Francisco

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MLK Service

Rev. Yolanda Norton

Grace Cathedral
1100 California Street
San Francisco

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MLK2018 Evensong

with Bishop Marc Handley Andrus
and soprano Hope Briggs

Grace Cathedral
1100 California Street
San Francisco

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MLK2018 Conversation

Dr. Clayborne Carson & Dr. Charles H. Long

Grace Cathedral
1100 California Street
San Francisco

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MLK Keynote Reflection*
Labor/Community Breakfast

Rev. Dr. Dwight Hopkins

Marriott Marquis Grand Ballroom
780 Mission Street
San Francisco *requires paid ticket

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MLK Interfaith Commemoration

Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade Stage
750 Howard Street
San Francisco

-

MLK Forum

Gresham Hall
Grace Cathedral
221 Fourth Street
San Francisco

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MLK Forum

Gresham Hall
Grace Cathedral
221 Fourth Street
San Francisco

Event Partners (subject to update)

Event FAQ

The King & Faith Lectures is a new lecture program designed to engage the wider scholarly, theological, clerical and lay communities in contemporary contemplation of Dr. King, his message, and his symbology. The lecture series looks to ignite greater dialogue and programs of action that will infuse “where we go from here.” Key questions about freedom, liberation and mission within the present global paradigm will bring to the forefront the tensions that emerge when confronted with the need to make space for those voices that speak against erasure, simplification, and displacement of the cultural narratives that a truly democratic society needs to survive.
The King & Faith Lectures are a program of the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation (NorcalMLK Foundation).

The King & Faith Lectures are free and open to the public. With registration you are able to attend all of the seminars and gatherings, unless specified otherwise on our lecture schedule above.
Yes. The lecture series is an annual program of the NorcalMLK Foundation, held each MLK Weekend and culminating on the third Monday each January, the federal holiday in honor of Dr. King.
Yes. Many of the lectures, programs and seminars will be scheduled for broadcast live online. Utilizing some of our broadcast technology, virtual attendees will be able to comment on and deliver questions during our programs. Following the lectures, the programs will be archived on the NorcalMLK Foundation’s sites to be viewed and available for use in research.
To volunteer for the King & Faith Lectures, visit the NorcalMLK Volunteer Page and sign up for the many opportunities available.
There are limited vendor opportunities during the MLK2018 holiday celebration, and vendors can apply at our vendor link here.
If you are interested in becoming a partner with us during the lecture series, contact us below.
The lecture programs are being held in varoius locations.
To view the lecture locations, go to our Schedule section above and our Event Map below. Also, see the map below for directions on all forms of transportation.
Feel free to ask your question below, and we will do our best to respond within two business days.

Videos

The 2017 King & Faith Lectures

The 2017 King & Faith Lectures featured renown scholars, theologians, students, and civic leaders in discussion on the theme Justice in the Beloved Community. The lectures also featured the voices of the Passages Singers.

Passages at MLK2017 Evensong Rev. Dr. Donna Allan Aaron Grizzell at MLK2017 Evensong Passages at MLK2017 Evensong

MLK2017 Interfaith Evensong


The 2016 James A. Noel Symposium at the SAN FRANCISCO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

On September 30, 2016, friends, colleagues, and former students of the late Rev. Dr. James A. Noel, Ph.D. convened for an academic symposium discussing the key issues that shaped his work. Dr. Noel was the co-founder of the King & Faith Lectures and a highly respected religious scholar in the academy as the H. Eugene Farlough Chair of African American Christianity and Professor of American Religion at the San Francisco Theological Seminary and core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union and Convener of the GTU’s Black Church/Africana Studies Certificate Program.
The symposium was organized by Dr. Christopher Ocker, Professor of Church History at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and convened by Aaron Grizzell, the Executive Director of the NorcalMLK Foundation. It featured prominent scholars of religion, history, and theology. The presentation sessions appear in the order of the event, beginning with a tribute to James Noel.

The 2016 King & Faith Lectures

We inaugurated the King & Faith lectures in 2016 with a group of leading scholars in the liberation theology, womanist theology, and philosophical theology. The following are short clips from the series. The series included a special conversation with leaders of the Black Panther Party, commemmorating their 50th anniversary with a year-long set of activities throughout the country. The MLK2016 events was the kick-off.

Pre-2016 King & Faith Presentations

In 2014 we began a series of King & Faith presentations and conversations that culminated in the inauguration of the King & Faith Lectures. This started with a hosted conversation with former mayor Hon. Willie L. Brown, Jr. Mayor Brown was a former youth leader at San Francisco's Jones Memorial United Methodist Church and began his political career through the church's assistance. Next, in 2014, theologian Rev. Dr. Dwight N. Hopkins of the University of Chicago and famed minister, theologian, and activist the Rev. Dr. Allan Aubrey Boesak were in conversation with NPR's Joshua Johnson, host of 1A, at San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora.

Event Map

Yerba Buena Gardens
750 Howard Street
San Francisco

King & Faith Lectures Contacts
Email: kinglectures@norcalmlkfoundation.org
Twitter @norcalmlk

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"Dwight N. Hopkins is a constructive theologian working in the areas of contemporary models of theology, various forms of liberation theologies (especially black and other third-world manifestations), and East-West cross-cultural comparisons. Professor Hopkins is interested in multidisciplinary approaches to the academic study of religious thought, especially cultural, political, economic, and interpretive methods. His latest works are Teaching Global Theologies;The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology; Being Human: Race, Culture, and Religion; Walk Together Children: Black and Womanist Theologies, Church and Theological Education; Another World Is Possible: Spiritualities and Religions of Global Darker Peoples; Loving the Body: Black Religious Studies and the Erotic (coeditor); Heart and Head: Black Theology-Past, Present, and Future; Introducing Black Theology of Liberation; Down, Up and Over: Slave Religion and Black Theology; and Black Faith and Public Talk: Essays in Honor of James Cone's Black Theology and Black Power (editor). His previous texts include Black Theology USA and South Africa: Politics, Culture, and Liberation; Shoes That Fit Our Feet: Sources for a Constructive Black Theology; and We Are One Voice: Essays on Black Theology in South Africa and the USA (coeditor). He is an editor of Religions/Globalizations: Theories and Cases; Changing Conversations: Religious Reflection and Cultural Analysis; and Liberation Theologies, Postmodernity and the Americas. Professor Hopkins is senior editor of the Henry McNeil Turner/Sojourner Truth Series in Black Religion (Orbis Books). He is an ordained American Baptist minister."