Tag Archives: American Academy of Religion

Otto Maduro 1945-2013

Picture from Drew University’s website

I was blessed to meet and be in the presence of Otto Maduro at the American Academy of Religion a few years ago as well as at the 2008 joint meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society and Society for Pentecostal Studies.  I write with sadness that Maduro has passed away.  For me, seeing Otto Maduro at work, doing theology at the grassroots level, presenting before his peers, I felt inspired and encouraged. Maduro was an example to all Christian scholars who desire to do theology at the intersection of the church and the academy.

Thoughts from around the web:

It is with sadness that we share the news that Professor Otto Maduro passed away at 8:45 p.m. last night. In a note to the Theological School community this morning, Jeffrey Kuan wrote: “He was surrounded by his wife Nancy, son Mateo and family members when he died. I went with Professor Laurel Kearns and Dr. Tanya Bennett to be with Nancy and the family. Professor Maduro looked very peaceful. When I have information about memorial service I will let all of you know. We have lost a great theologian and a great friend.”

Share your comments on Prof Maduro below or on his retirement page. http://www.drew.edu/otto/

Drew University’s Facebook Page

” Although I did not have him as a professor at Drew University, I did meet him and sat in some of his lectures and he worked with me as a mentor when I was selected as the speaker at my commencement. I particulay have had a deep resepct for the way he connected his scholarly work to the world of lived faith. He was very active in the AAR and his work with hispanic seminarians and pastors has , and will continue to have, a major impact on their church communities.”

Chris Rodkey

“Let us remember Otto for his pioneering work in sociology. Let us not forget his commitment to multiple communities, and his gentleness that surpassed our own.”– Robyn Henderson Espinoza

“Otto Maduro gave me joy. He restored my faith in men, in scholars, in humans. I like to think I gave him a love for bluegrass and Hank Williams.”

Kristen Chapman Gibbons

American Academy of Religion

American Academy of Religion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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In which I was part of a panel at a scholarly conference for the first time

Langston Hughes was part of the Harlem Renaiss...

My Experience At the Southwest Commission for Religious Studies

Saturday, I entered arena of scholarship once more, the first time as an “Independent Scholar.” But don’t be deceived, my independence gave me the freedom to ask questions at every session I attended. My goal was to network as much as possible, and I achieved that goal, primarily in the morning.

In the afternoon, I felt I was in good company with the Womanist and Liberationist Ethics session of the AAR, and then a little later at the plenary session lead by Joerg Rieger.

Our panel, the Harlem Renaissance and Black Religion(s), was the first Panel I have been asked to be a part of. It was sort of a risk to go where I had never gone before, to actually do a scholarly presentation on black science fiction, postcolonial theology, Christianity, and race, but I pulled it off. My thesis adviser and Brite professor Keri Day was the moderator, while Phillip Luke Sinitiere also presented on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I also volunteered to read Lou Joseph’s paper on Langston Hughes’s play Emperor of Haiti so he could receive credit on his CV. I felt like this panel was the beginning of something different and special, and Lou’s work was very important. Thus, I felt compelled to volunteer to read (I myself in the past have had a reader for a paper).

The best thing about all of our research projects is the potential for engaging the Harlem Renaissance and Black Religion(s) from an intercultural perspective. With Lou’s look at the Haitian Revolution in light of the Catholic religion and Langston Hughes’ literature, Phillip’s engagement with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s being influenced by the Negro church tradition, and my observations on the similarities and differences between Irishman C.S. Lewis and George Schuyler, the possibilities are real and endless. It’s part of my vision to be a Black Church scholar for a Multicultural world, and this project may fit the bill. At the panel itself, I spoke for a total of close to 80 minutes (both presentations were at 30 minutes, then the q & a); I just couldn’t stop talking. I was like the Bubba Blue of Black Sci Fi!


I would definitely like to be part of a panel again, even if it’s not about the Harlem Renaissance or science fiction. I would highly recommend you give it a try if you are a student, since it means collaboration with other scholars and more engagement with the audience.

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Society of Race, Ethnicity and Religion: A New Scholarly Society

On the wall of Theology and Critical Race Theory Facebook Group, Celucien Joseph posted a link to a new Scholarly Society, The Society of Race, Ethnicity and Religion.

Here is the description:

“Nuestro vino de plátano, y si es agrio, es nuestro vino.” – José Martí
(Let us make our wine out of plantains, and if it comes out sour, it is still our wine)

“Although a space has been carved out for scholars of color, the scholarship taking place within that space continues to be ignored; and because there are numerous sessions and groups during Academic conferences – so many of our sessions are forced to conflict with each other, seldom providing the opportunity for scholars of color to cross-pollinate. We must ask if we inadvertently constructed impressive exclusive cul-de-sacs from which to master our particular disciplines. Like a four-leaf clover, our separate cul-de-sacs operate side-by-side with few of us ever venturing into the adjoining communities. Solidarity may occur from time to time, but it usually happens with little intellectual engagement. If we rile against most Euroamericans for not engaging our scholarship, then in all honesty, we must also hold ourselves accountable, for few of us, in our numerous books and articles, actually quote or dialogue with other communities of color.
Many of us are content to remain within our own academic niche. Others, because of the numerous sessions at academic conferences, are unable to ever visit the neighboring cul-de-sac. More disturbing is when scholars of color are oblivious to how they and their communities are locked into structures that cause oppression to other communities of color. Where do we explore how our separate marginalized communities remain complicit with disenfranchising other groups, whether those groups are marginalized due to darker skin pigmentation, language, gender, sexual orientation, economic class or different religious traditions?
To this end, we (Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Anthony Pinn, Miguel A. De La Torre) propose creating The Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (SRER). The purpose of this multi-discipline Society is to create a space where communities of color can gather to discuss among themselves so as to advance their scholarship though the power of synergism – a space where we can engage, learn, and be challenged from communities of color other than our own. Please note we are not the leaders of the Society, just coordinating the first meeting. At our first meeting we hope a leadership council is established representing a male and female representative from each community of color
WHEN: April 26-28, 2013 (tentatively)
WHERE: Chicago (tentatively)
1) Forward this email to scholars of color you believe would be interested
2) Become a member of SRER by sending a $100 membership check to:
Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion
c/o Miguel A. De La Torre
Iliff School of Theology
2201 University Blvd
Denver, CO 80210
Send the check my March 15, 2012 so that you can be listed as a Founding Member of the Society; and we can have a head count so that when we travel to Chicago in late March 2012, we know how many people are really interested and can make appropriate reservations for accommodations. Include with your check a) Your name, b) Institution, c) Email, d) Phone numbers, and e) if you plan to attend the first meeting
3) Get involved, we need people who have legal experience that can incorporate us; have CPA experience who can file our 501(c)3; have grant writing experience who can help find monies for getting the Society off the ground and provide scholarship for students to attend; and can help us set up a webpage/blog where members can discuss and help plan that first meeting.
4) When we have our first conference, space would be created to organize ourselves more efficiently. Meanwhile, our first task is to discover how many colleagues of color are truly interested (measured by membership) and then, actually meet.”