Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dialogue of Reason: Science and Faith in the Black Community

My first post; hopefully I will contribute more to this blog as the semester progresses. (Shout out) thanks to Kelsey for setting up this tool to continue our class discussions -- it seems as though we never have enough time to get everything in. 

One continuing goal I remain to have is to continually revisit the structure of religion and its role in the development of our culture, and more specifically, in our growth in the areas of science and ethics. Understanding religion influences many peoples and governments in their decisions makes it utterly important to understand how it shapes one's thought process. Below is a video of a panel that recently occurred that addresses many of the issues we have been talking about in class; and further more addresses whether or not the "church" did or did not play a progressive role in the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement. 

In this panel, Dr. Pinn speaks at length about the issue, and was absolutely phenomenal. His basic premise was that the black church's theology of redemptive suffering did more harm than good and that humanism was (and is) a more effective philosophy for motivating civil resistance. He also discussed how Dr. King complained about the lack of support by churches for Civil Rights -- a reality that has been largely lost sight of due to the amazing PR of black churches. Here's the link to that discussion again if you haven't seen it yet -- it starts off kinda slow but once Dr. Pinn starts talking...... Well, it is worth watching

He also wrote a book, I am planning to buy, if you ever want to barrow it let me know.


Would love to hear ya'lls thoughts on this,



  1. Thanks for posting this Josiah! I watched the whole lecture, as I tend to enjoy these types of discourses. Every one on the panel was amazing and spoke coherently. I agree that the history of black freethinkers has been shushed out of existence by the churches. Well, that goes for most freethinkers throughout history, really. Anyway, I feel that the oppressions perpetuated by certain factions of religions has gone by un-noticed in most feminist discourse's. We should incorporate mono-theistic religiosity into our feminist discussions, because it is a major driving force of oppression and privilege at the global scale.

  2. I'm seeing that my request to resist universalizing & polarizing generalizations about religion and people's of faith is not being observed. The panel represented multiple offenses (as was voiced by the Howard student in her question/commentary at the end), and certainly, the label "Free Thinkers" (with its implicit presumption that only secularists can be "free" in their thinking) can (and should) be problematized 'til the cows come home for how alienating and insulting it is. We must develop the skill of holding the mirror up to our own fundamentalisms and acknowledge how our convictions (particularly if they are immovable) hold us back from being in true solidarity with the diveristy of the world's peoples. -Jordana