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Special Lecture and Sermon Honors Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday

Published: January 14, 2020

Eastern Nazarene College welcomes guest Dr. Nichole R. Phillips who will be lecturing and providing a sermon in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Dr. Phillips is the Associate Professor in the Practice of Sociology of Religion and Culture at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Dr. Nichole R. Phillips will give the annual lecture on Religion, Race and Culture on Thursday January 23 at 7:00 pm in the Ruth Cameron Auditorium. The lecture is titled: “We the People”: Race, Religion, and Gender in the Making of America. About the lecture:

“We the People” is an enduring metaphor and lasting symbol for U.S. nationality and peoplehood. It is an idea to which we aspire, and it stands for what it means to be American. Yet, it is also an idea that encapsulates contradictory and at times conflicting perspectives. “We the People” is a concept that stands for a politics of social belonging, yet it excludes some. This lecture explores “We the People” as a metaphor for social belonging, what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. refers to as the beloved community. As a metaphor, it envisions and demands public participation in our democracy despite the contradictions and wherein raced, religious and gendered bodies participate in the making of America.

Dr. Phillips will also be the chapel speaker on Friday, January 24 with a sermon titled: The Power of One: King’s Thoughts and Philosophy on the True Ekklesia. About the sermon:

This sermon will explore the role of the church in today’s U.S. society and culture, as it strives to answer the following questions: Should American Christianity, that is the Church, approach or address the crises that currently mark our deep democratic traditions? If so, how shall the Church address the social, political, religious –democratic issues facing our nation, without having a civically engaged religiosity succumb to misguided righteousness and narrowness? What are “children of Light” –Christians called to do in these contemporary, conflictual times? Kingian thinking and philosophy about the true ekklesia will inform and shape scriptural readings of Luke 16: 1-13; Acts 4:32-35 to offer some answers to how Christian leaders and actors as well as the church might serve to actualize the common good in present-day democracy.

This event is a joint presentation of Multicultural Affairs and the Religion and Culture Program.  It is sponsored through the DeFreitas Fund.




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