W&L Presents “Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue” Terrence Johnson, professor of African American religious studies at Harvard University, will discuss his latest book on March 1.
Washington and Lee University welcomes Terrence Johnson, professor of African American religious studies at Harvard University, to campus for a discussion of his latest book, “Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue.” Johnson’s talk will be held on Wednesday, March 1, at 5 p.m. at Hillel House, room 101.
The event is free and open to the W&L community and is organized by the co-chairs of W&L’s Under-Represented Religious, Cultural, and Spiritual Identities employee resource group: Isra El-beshir, director of the Museums at W&L, and Sascha Goluboff, director of community-based learning and professor of cultural anthropology.
Johnson’s talk will focus on his book co-authored with Jacques Berlinerblau, a professor of Jewish civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Published in 2022, “Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue” explores the unspoken history between the Black and Jewish communities in the United States and sheds light on the challenges and promises American democracy has confronted since its inception. The book has been praised by the president of the NAACP for its “radically honest, morally blunt, and intellectually nuanced conversation” about the Black-Jewish relationship.
Johnson’s research interests include African American political thought, ethics, American religions and the role of religion in public life, and his upcoming visit supports the mission of W&L’s employee resource group (ERG) program to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with the University’s values.
Johnson’s interdisciplinary research agenda is historical, critical and constructive. He weaves together African American religions, political theory and American history to paint broad conceptual schemes for imagining religion, democracy, ethics, liberalism, justice and freedom. “We hope his visit to W&L will open further dialogue and cultivate a better understanding of religion as a necessary component of diversity, equity and inclusion work at W&L,” El-beshir said.
The event is hosted by two of Washington and Lee’s ERGs: Under-Represented Religious, Cultural, and Spiritual Identities and Black/African American/African Diaspora. The program is sponsored by the university’s Mudd Center for Ethics, Museums at W&L, the Office of Community-Based Learning, The DeLaney Center, and W&L’s History, Sociology and Anthropology, and Religion departments. Copies of Johnson’s book will be available to purchase at the event.