Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy & Christian Practice
Princeton University, M.A.
Princeton University, Ph.D.
This course examines two prophetic figures of the Twentieth Century. Both are exemplary in their profound thought, moral courage, genuine spirituality, and willingness to confront xenophobic ways of life.
This course critically plunges into the rich tradition of Black political thought. Students begin with Phyllis Wheatley, David Walker, and Martin Delaney, through Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Marcus Garvey, and C. L. James, and on to James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Stokely Carmichael, and Angela Davis. The textual basis of this class is the instant classic – “African American Political Thought: A Collected History”, edited by Melvin L. Rogers and Jack Turner, University of Chicago Press, 2020.
This course examines the classical works of three modern intellectuals: W.E.B. Du Bois, Lorraine Hansberry and Toni Morrison. Students wrestle with the rich formulations, subtle arguments and courageous visions of three Black thinkers who continue to speak with power and passion to our turbulent times.
This course seeks to explore the life and teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Recent years have seen a considerable expansion of the literature on both figures. The time is ripe for a reconsideration of their legacy with respect to such central questions as the viability of nonviolent resistance in a context of neoliberalism, ecological devastation, the relationship between spirituality and political engagement, and the conflict between religious traditions. What is the meaning and promise of their double legacy for our time? What can both figures teach us about interreligious dialogue and learning? What is the relationship between the work of Gandhi and King and the later emergence of liberation theology? What can we learn from Malcolm X’s critique of King, B. R. Ambedkar’s critique of Gandhi and feminist critiques of both?