—Anthony B. Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities at Rice University, will lecture on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy and the Changing Nature of U.S. Religiosity on February 4—

Princeton, NJ, January 17, 2013–Dr. Anthony B. Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, professor of religious studies, and director of graduate studies at Rice University, will give Princeton Theological Seminary’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture on Monday, February 4 at 8:00 p.m. His lecture is titled “The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Changing Nature of U.S. Religiosity.” It will be held in Miller Chapel on the Seminary’s main campus.

anthony pinnThe Princeton Seminary faculty established the annual King Lecture as a way of honoring the man who, according to Peter Paris, Elmer G. Homrighausen Professor of Christian Social Ethics Emeritus, “ranks among the greatest American leaders in both church and state because he combined religious, social, and political resources in pursuit of racial justice and the moral enhancement of the common life.”

Pinn is a professor and writer whose work focuses on black liberation theology, African American religion, and African American humanism. He believes that much of what has been written about the study of black religion avoids two fundamental questions: What is black about black religion? What is religious about black religion? He thinks that little attention has been given to how one should study black religion and what is actually being studied. Pinn’s recent work seeks to address this shortcoming through attention to the nature and meaning of black religion. He recent research projects have attempted to explore the “quest for complex subjectivity” as the fundamental nature of black religion. His most substantive presentation of this research interest is Terror and Triumph: The Nature of Black Religion (Fortress Press, 2003).    

He is also the author/editor of fifteen other books, including Varieties of African American Religious Experience (Fortress Press, 1998); The Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era (Orbis Books, 2002); Why Lord?: Suffering and Evil in Black Theology (Continuum, 1995); and African American Humanist Principles: Living and Thinking Like the Children of Nimrod (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). He is currently working on a book dealing with the aesthetics of black religious experience and a coedited volume on theoretical and methodological considerations related to the study of religion in popular culture.

Pinn holds a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He is executive director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion and cochair of the American Academy of Religion’s Black Theology Group.

For more information, call 609.497.7760 or visit www.ptsem.edu

Princeton Theological Seminary was founded in 1812 as the first seminary established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. It is the largest Presbyterian seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.