Date: Friday, September 13, 1:00 – 6:00 pm; Saturday, September 14, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Instructor: Adam Barnes
As seminarians graduate into economic crisis, how do we prepare for the poverty that awaits us in our congregations, our communities, our family, and even our debt-saddled job searches? We at the Kairos Center believe that we are living in a kairos moment: great change and transition, where the old ways of doing things are breaking down, new ones are trying to emerge and decisive action is demanded. This course explores how religious leaders, local congregations, and poor people’s organizations can be part of growing efforts rising up to respond to the injustice and violence our communities are facing. Special attention will be given to the history of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) and the efforts of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to re-ignite that campaign and challenge the interconnected evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality. Students examine lessons gained from the history of the PPC, learn basic information on poverty and community organizing, and participate in biblical study and theological reflection on building a social movement to end poverty, led by the poor.
Adam Barnes, Ph.D. is the coordinator of the Rights and Religions program at the Kairos Center. Born in St. Louis, MO and raised in Colorado, he has lived in New York since 2006 and worked at the Poverty Initiative/Kairos Center since 2007. In 2016 Adam completed a Ph.D. in Comparative Theology at Union Theological Seminary. His dissertation investigates the liberative theology and spirituality emerging from anti-poverty struggles in the US and in a Sufi-Muslim community in West Africa. He received a BA in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. Currently, he is working closely with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival helping to coordinate faith leaders and institutions. He is the father of three amazing children and married to Shailly Barnes.