Crossroads of Religion and Politics Lunchtime Discussion with Judith Weisenfeld, Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion, Princeton University.
Judith Weisenfeld is the author of the forthcoming New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration. Focusing on the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, Father Divine’s Peace Mission Movement, and a number of congregations of Ethiopian Hebrews, Weisenfeld argues that the appeal of these groups lay not only in the new religious opportunities membership provided, but also in the novel ways they formulated a religio-racial identity. Arguing that members of these groups understood their religious and racial identities as divinely-ordained and inseparable, the book examines how this sense of self shaped their conceptions of their bodies, families, religious and social communities, space and place, and political sensibilities.
Weisenfeld draws on extensive archival research and incorporates a rich array of sources to highlight the experiences of average members. The book demonstrates that the efforts by members of these movements to contest conventional racial categorization contributed to broader discussions in black America about the nature of racial identity and the collective future of black people that still resonate today.
This Crossroads of Religion and Politics Discussion Series is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Attendance is limited to Princeton University students, fellows, and faculty, with preference given to CSR and WWS affiliates. Lunch will be provided. Please rsvp to Jenny Legath by Friday, March 31.