In the United States of America, the “Black Church” has been assumed to be the only way for African Americans to express a religious orientation, at the least the only way deserving serious consideration. African American religion in the Age of President Obama, as it is presented by various media outlets, only emphasizes this assumption. In his talk, Dr. Pinn will present an alternative to this assumption: African American humanism. Attention will be given to the ways in which humanism in African American communities develops as a unique form of humanism, and the ways in which African American humanism has served as a vital method for making sense of life in a troubled world.
Anthony B. Pinn received a BA from Columbia University, and his MDiv, MA and PhD from Harvard University. He began his teaching career at Macalester College, and became the first African American to hold an endowed chair (the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies) at Rice University. Pinn is the founding director of the Houston Enriches Rice Education Project. He is the first Executive Director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, and first Director of Research for the Institute for Humanist Studies Think Tank (Washington, DC). Dr. Pinn is the author/editor of over twenty-five books, including Terror and Triumph: The Nature of Black Religion, The Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era, and Embodiment and the New Shape of Black Theological Thought.