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BRSG Consultation

Sixteeth Annual Black Religious Scholars Group Consultation
November 22, 2013

BRSG logo 2 The guiding vision of the Black Religious Scholars Group (BRSG) is to sponsor consultations and speaking series for the edification of the liberating theology and witness of the Black Church tradition within the academy, church and wider Black community.

Our annual public forums across North America at welcoming congregations continue the process of exploring ways in which meaningful dialogue and partnership can occur between Black religious scholars and the larger Black community and its churches for the well-being and advancement of both our people and communities.

The BRSG is committed to creating dialogues that forge bonds of communication for partnership and innovation between Black peoples.  Central to our vision, is the conviction that dialogue and collaboration among scholars, churches and community activist organizations is essential for cultivating transformative debates and promoting social justice.  Each year the BRSG consultation promotes an open conversation that will be held in collaboration with Black religious scholars, clergy, and community leaders and engage directly with the general public in our host city as a precursor to the American Academy of Religion / Society of Biblical Literature (AAR / SBL) annual meeting. Since our founding over a decade ago, we have had the great privilege to recognize some of the finest scholars in Black religion such as J. Deotis Roberts, Henry and Ella Mitchell, James H. Cone, Peter Paris, Jacquelyn Grant, Katie G. Cannon, Vincent Harding, Delores S. Williams, Robert M. Franklin, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Gayraud S. Wilmore, Cornel West, Renita J. Weems, Walter E. Fluker, M. Shawn Copeland,Emilie Townes, Luther E. Smith, Jr., and Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Jeremiah A Wright Jr. as our annual honorees.

During the sixteenth annual consultation, the Black Religious Scholars Group will honor Rev. Dr. Micahel Eric Dyson.


2013 BRSG Honoree

Michael Eric Dyson The Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is a renowned public intellectual who possesses the zeal of an ordained Baptist minister. As a scholar, author, cultural critic, and media personality, he has consistently provided significant commentary on modern social and intellectual thought. He is credited for eloquently interweaving his intellectual endeavors with popular culture, emphasizing their interconnectedness and focusing on the phenomena of contemporary culture and its implications on the society at large.

He is the author of seventeen books, all of which consider the interconnections and effects of intellectualism with a combination of cultural criticism, race theory, religion, philosophical reflection, and gender studies. Works such as Making Malcolm; I May Not Get There With You ; Holler If You Hear Me; Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye; Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?, and more recently, Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, deeply probe social themes and cultural politics. His latest books include the New York Times bestseller April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America and Can You Hear Me Now?: The Inspiration, Wisdom and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson.

He is the recipient of two NAACP Image awards and has been named by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 most influential black Americans. Since 2007, he has served and witnessed as a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, bridging gaps between generations as he connects the identity of the Civil Rights Movement to the Hip-Hop Culture, thereby creating links between older and younger Black Americans. Through cultural criticism, he has educated the public on the significance of race theory, social analysis, hip-hop, and sexual politics, just to name a few – in the name of delivering a message that helps our civic community not only to gain a better understanding of Black Culture, but also of American culture. His voice undoubtedly reaches concerns beyond race and addresses a unified, overarching American concern.


2013 Council of Griots

Dr. Alton Pollard, Moderator

Dean of Howard University School of Divinity 

Rev. Dr. Frank M. Reid, III

Pastor, Bethel AME Church

Rev. Dr. Ralph Watkins

Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, Columbia Theological Seminary

Dr. Maisha Handy

Associate Vice President of Academic Services/Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Christian Education, Interdenominational Theological Center

Rev. Damien Durr

Youth and Young Adult Pastor, Temple Church and Consultant, Children’s Defense Fund


Location and Time

Bethel A.M.E. Church
1300 Druid Hill Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217

 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm



Contact Information:

Black Religious Scholars Group
Vanderbilt University Divinity School
411 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37240