Lerone A. Martin 11G, associate professor of religion and politics in the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, will present the annual Howard Thurman Lecture on Wednesday, November 17, sponsored by Candler’s Black Church Studies program. Centered around the broader topic of the future of the Black church, the lecture, “What to Do If the FBI Knocks: A Primer for Black Protestant Faith Communities,” will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time and will be held as a Zoom Webinar.
In his lecture, Martin will examine how the history of the FBI’s engagement of Black Protestant faith communities offers valuable lessons for the present and future of Black Protestantism.
Beginning January 1, Martin will join the faculty of Stanford University as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Chair and director of the university’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.
Martin earned his MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and his PhD from Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion. He is the author of the award-winning Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion (New York University Press, 2014), which received the 2015 Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize for outstanding scholarship in religious history by a first-time author from the American Society of Church History.
In support of his research, Martin has received numerous nationally recognized fellowships, including from The National Endowment for the Humanities, The American Council of Learned Societies, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Templeton Religion Trust, The Teagle Foundation, the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion, and the Forum for Theological Exploration. He has also been recognized for his teaching, receiving grants and fellowships from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.
Most recently, he became co-director of a $1 million grant from The Henry Luce Foundation to fund “The Crossroads Project,” a four-year, multi-institution project to advance public understanding of the history, politics, and cultures of African American religions.
Martin’s commentary and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and CNN. He is currently writing a book on the relationship between the FBI and white evangelicals, to be published by Princeton University Press.