Black women have always comprised anywhere between 65 and 90 percent of membership in black [US] churches — institutions where they are largely excluded from the religious polity…
Religion that began in slave communities is the only ancestral tie American-born blacks have to something like a family tree. But black churches, like many of their white counterparts, perpetuate the notion that women should stand by and support their men as those men exploit their labor and ignore their aspirations to serve as leaders in the religious polity. —Joshunda Sanders
This Friday and Saturday I’ll be at Washington Adventist University for the 34th Keough Lectureship on women’s ordination and the politics of interpretation. Featured speakers are WAU professor Dr. Olive Hemmings (formerly of West Indies College) and LLU professor Dr. Richard Rice. (Read more about the event.)
Hemmings taught at West Indies College (Northern Caribbean University) until the year I entered as a freshman. I will have to ask her whether her departing the year I arrived was God’s way of ensuring minimal disturbance to the Force!
Rice also touched my Adventist education: his book The Reign of God was a textbook in one of my first required religious studies classes. Outside of Adventism he may be best known for his work in open theism.
I’m excited about listening to both of these professors live; join me this Friday and Saturday in Takoma Park if you’re in town.