News

Media Spotlight: Can I Get a Witness?

Can I Get a Witness? The PodcastCan I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Faith & Justice is our newest publication. There are many ways you can access the prophetic witness of this book. Discover the compelling stories of thirteen pioneers for social justice who engaged in peaceful protest and gave voice to the marginalized, working courageously out of their religious convictions to transform American culture.

On Friday, March 22, Charles Marsh presented a lecture and discussion on the book as part of the Rebels With a Cause symposium at the Virginia Festival of the Book. Along with Hal Crowther, author of Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers: A Gallery of Memorable Southerners, they discussed their collections of biographical essays on unexpected and underappreciated leaders in struggles for justice and equality.

BookTV will present coverage of the Rebels With a Cause symposium:

  • Mar 30, 2019 | 1:00pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Mar 31, 2019 | 2:00am EDT | C-SPAN 2

Book Reviews

Lenten Journey

Join us on a journey through Lent with Howard Thurman, Dorothy Day, Mahalia Jackson, Cesar Chavez, and more witnesses to faith and justice. We are reading our new book throughout the Lenten season, and we’d love for you to join the conversation. For each chapter, we’ll post reading guides here on this page as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Those guides will include scripture passages, questions for reflection, and suggestions for other resources, including our companion podcast (links to come). You can also join our Facebook group to participate directly in the conversation.

Podcast

Can I Get a Witness? The Podcast is an audio companion to the book. In each episode of this podcast, we talk with one of our authors about the person they profiled for the book and about their writing process. The podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

Can I Get a Witness? Charles Marsh to speak at the Virginia Festival of the Book

VA Fest of Book 2019

On Friday, March 22, Charles Marsh will present a lecture on Can I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Faith & Justice as the part of the Rebels With a Cause symposium. Along with Hal Crowther, author of Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers: A Gallery of Memorable Southerners, they will discuss discuss their collections of biographical essays on unexpected and underappreciated leaders in struggles for justice and equality. Book sales and signing will follow.

The presentation will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

To go to the Virginia Festival of the Book’s website, click here.

“Can I Get a Witness?” a Lenten Journey

Join us on a journey through Lent with Howard Thurman, Dorothy Day, Mahalia Jackson, Cesar Chavez, and more witnesses to faith and justice. We’ll be reading our new book, Can I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Faith and Justice throughout the Lenten season, and we’d love for you to join the conversation.

For each chapter, we’ll post reading guides here on this page as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Those guides will include scripture passages, questions for reflection, and suggestions for other resources, including our companion podcast (links to come). You can also join our Facebook group to participate directly in the conversation.

Stay tuned!

Charles Marsh to Deliver Lecture at UC Berkeley

“From the Phraseological to the Real”: Lived Theology and the Public University

On February 23, Charles Marsh will deliver a lecture at the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion as part of their culminating conference for a project focused on the place of theology in the university. 

The BCSR says the main goal of the project “was to challenge narrow conceptions of both secular learning and ‘theology,’ in hopes of fostering robust conversation about the teaching of religion in the pluralist setting of the modern university.” This conference will focus on three major areas of inquiry: Theology and the History of Learning, Theology and Modern Secular Disciplines, and The Limits and Possibilities of Theology in a Pluralist World. It runs from February 22-23, and Marsh will be giving his lecture on February 23 at 4:00.

Find more event information on BCSR’s website here. For a full listing of our spring speaking engagements with Charles Marsh and others, visit our events calendar here.

Charles Marsh is the Commonwealth Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and the director of the Project on Lived Theology. His research interests include modern Christian thought, religion and civil rights, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and lived theology. His publications include Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2014) and God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights (1997), which won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

For more event details and up-to-date event listings please click here to visit the PLT Events page. We also post updates online using #PLTevents. To get these and other news updates, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @LivedTheology. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

Marie Griffith to Deliver Lecture Series at University Baptist Church

Marie Griffith Lecture Poster

On February 26 – 28, Professor Marie Griffith will be speaking as part of the Richard E. Myers Lecture Series at University Baptist Church. The lectures will be at 5 PM each day. Professor Griffith will be giving a series of lectures entitled “Can a Fractured Nation Make Peace? Facing History and Restoring Our Deepest Values.” The title of the three lectures included in the series are “Legacies of Slavery: The Value of Truthfulness,” “Welcoming the Stranger: The Value of Empathy,” and “Sex and Religious Liberty: The Values of Conscience and Compromise.”

The abstract for this lecture series is included below:

“Countless political and social conflicts in America during recent decades have hinged on divergent ways of telling the nation’s history and describing the values we share in common. Particular disparities appear between different ways of talking about the legacies of slavery and racism, the dehumanizing treatment of native Americans and immigrants, and the bitter struggles over sexuality, women’s rights, and religious liberty. In this era of extreme polarization and deep fracturing within American Christianity as well as U.S. politics, can we cultivate a sense of shared history and a shared future that is truthful about the nation’s past and united in honoring the values that will guide its future? These lectures take on these difficult subjects with an eye toward restoring such values as truthfulness, empathy, conscience, and compromise, so as to foster a bearable peace.”

Professor Griffith is the Director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. She published Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics in 2017, which connected modern political issues to centuries old debates among American Christians.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more news from PLT fellow travelers, click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #PLTfellowTravelers. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Baptized in Blood

Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865–1920, by Charles Reagan WilsonThe Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865–1920

In Baptized in Blood, Charles Reagan Wilson has created a significant and well-written study of the South’s civil religion, one of two public faiths in America. Wilson shows how in the wake of the Civil War, southerners adopted the Lost Cause as a way to preserve their cultural identity by blending Christian rhetoric and symbols with the rhetoric and imagery of Confederate tradition.

A “civil religion” has been defined as the religious dimension of a people that enables them to understand a historical experience in transcendent terms. The defeat of the Confederacy threw into question the South’s relationship to God; it was interpreted in part as a God-given trial, whereby suffering and pain would lead Southerners to greater virtue and strength and even prepare them for future crusades. The Lost Cause movement was an organized effort to preserve the memory of the Confederacy, but Wilson also argues that the Lost Cause was an authentic expression of religion, and was celebrated and perpetuated with its own rituals, mythology, and theology.

In examining the role of civil religion in the cult of the military, in the New South ideology, and in the spirit of the Lost Cause colleges, as well as in other aspects, Wilson demonstrates effectively how the religion of the Lost Cause became the institutional embodiment of the South’s tragic experience.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“This study merits reading not only because it explores the delicate fusion of religious and cultural forces, but also because of the careful research which undergirds its arguments.”—Journal of the American Academy of Religion

“If the South cannot escape its history, perhaps it is because it does not want to. Wilson’s magnificent book on the religion of the Lost Cause drives that point home forcefully. . . . He skillfully weaves together the strands of thought that produced the Lost Cause and shows that evangelical ministers had a large hand in the process.”—Theology Today

“Destined to be the definitive essay on the relation between religion and southern regional patriotism.”—Journal of Southern History

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Infected Christianity

Infected Christianity: A Study of Modern Racism, by Alan DaviesA Study of Modern Racism

In Infected Christianity, Alan Davies focuses on five modern “Christs” to examine how the Christian church has succumbed to the infection of racist ideas. Davies shows that the myths of race and nation, innocent in themselves, have evolved into “sacred” myths and histories which not only infected Christianity but, in the case of Germany and South Africa, served to legitimize ruling racist elites.

The Germanic Christ is discussed first and most extensively. French Roman-Catholic racism is next, particularly its role in the Third Republic, through discussion of the “Latin” Christ. Davies’s study of the Anglo-Saxon Christ covers both English and American expressions of racism and their links to imperialism, which is followed by a discussion of Afrikaner racism, and an exploration of black nationalism in the United States and its advocacy of a black Christ.

In this book, Davies traces the course of racism to its roots in the religious, cultural, and intellectual history of western civilization and to its culmination in the formation of the Aryan myth – the great race myth of white Europeans.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“A succinct and significant overview of the subject…such an overview would be welcomed by a mainline Christian readership…For secular readers of social history…it could provide an honest and interesting glimpse into the ongoing struggle between Christianity and culture.” D.J. Hall, Department of Religious Studies, McGill University

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Mule Train

The Mule Train: A Journey of Hope Remembered, by Roland L. FreemanA Journey of Hope Remembered

The Mule Train, about 150 people in twenty mule-drawn wagons from Marks, Mississippi, was determined to make the nation aware of the plight of America’s poor. This was the start of the Poor People’s Campaign, created by Dr. King shortly before he was assassinated. Both The Mule Train and its origin is now mostly forgotten, but The Mule Train commemorates it in this collection of photographs by Roland Freeman and others accompanied by excerpts from local and national newspapers.

An article from NPR details how Dr. King first got the idea for The Mule Train:

“Edelman [Children’s Defense Fund founder] recalls King touring a Head Start program in Marks that lost its funding.

‘He saw a teacher, you know, carve up an apple and give it to about eight kids — a slice each — and he was in tears,’ she says. ‘He had to leave the center.’

Edelman brought members of Congress, including Sen. Robert Kennedy, to see the deprivation firsthand, but got little traction on poverty programs. She says Kennedy encouraged her to get King to put more focus on the issue. She says he loved the idea.

‘I told him that I’d just seen Robert Kennedy and he had seen the hunger of children in Marks,’ Edelman says. ‘Kennedy said bring the poor to Washington and he lit up like a lightbulb.’

From there King moved forward on organizing the Poor People’s Campaign.

‘The vision was that this mule train would go all the way from Marks Miss., the poorest hamlet in the poorest state of the country, all the way to Washington,’ says Georgetown University law professor Sheryll Cashin. ‘The mule and the covered wagons as a symbolic message of the black sharecropper.'”

To read the entire article, click here. For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is, edited by Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. HouckTo Tell It Like It Is

Many people know about Fannie Lou Hamer’s impassioned speech delivered at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, but far fewer people are familiar with the speeches Hamer delivered at the 1968 and 1972 conventions, to say nothing of addresses she gave closer to home, or with Malcolm X in Harlem, or even at the founding of the National Women’s Political Caucus. The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer, edited by  is a collection of twenty-one of Hamer’s most important speeches and testimonies which are meant to highlight her skill as an orator in oft-overlooked situations.

This book includes speeches from many different parts of Hamer’s fifteen year career as an activist, including her responses to events such as a Vietnam War Moratorium Rally in Berkeley, California, and a summons to testify in a Mississippi courtroom. The speeches in this book are coupled with with brief critical descriptions that place Hamer’s words in context, and there are additional materials within the book such as the last full-length oral history interview Hamer granted and a recent oral history interview Brooks conducted with Hamer’s daughter.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“Fannie Lou Hamer lives within the pages of To Tell It Like It Is, a collection of her speeches and interviews prefaced by a short biography. Those who knew her will know her better, and those who didn’t will meet a humane, relevant, inspirational leader who can inspire us all to action right now.”—Gloria Steinem

“The single best primary source anthology available for studying the grassroots sharecropper activist turned warrior”—P. Harvey (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs), CHOICE, January 2015 issue

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

Call for Applications: Summer Internship in Lived Theology 2019

Summer Internship 2019Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2019

The Project on Lived Theology is now accepting applications for the 2019 Summer Internship in Lived Theology, an immersion program designed to complement the numerous existing urban and rural service immersion programs flourishing nationally and globally by offering a unique opportunity to think and write theologically about service. To download an application, click here.

The internship is open to U.Va. undergraduate students in any field of study. Selected participants spend the summer interning with the partnering institution of their choice. Each intern works directly with a U.Va. faculty member who acts as a theological mentor, offering guidance in reading, discussing, and writing about selected texts. Each intern also has a site mentor who shapes his/her work experience and may act as a conversation partner in the intern’s academic and theological exploration. Throughout the summer, interns blog for the Project on Lived Theology website; at the end of the internship, interns complete a final project and present their work at a public event.

The deadline for application submission is February 11, 2019.

For more information on the internship and to read blog posts and biographies from past interns, click here.

For online updates about the PLT Summer Internship, please use #PLTinterns, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @LivedTheology.