James W. Perkinson

 James W. Perkinson

Address2930 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

Professor of Ethics and Systematic Theology, Ecumenical Theological Seminary

B.B.A., University of Cincinnati,
M.Div., St. John’s Provincial Seminary,
M.T.S., St. John’s Provincial Seminary,
Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School,

Long-time activist and educator from inner city Detroit, where he has a history of involvement in various community development initiatives and low-income housing projects. He holds a PhD in theology/history of religions from the University of Chicago, is the author of White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity and Shamanism, Racism, and Hip-Hop Culture: Essays on White Supremacy and Black Subversion, and has written extensively in both academic and popular journals on questions of race, class and colonialism in connection with religion and urban culture. He is in demand as a speaker on a wide variety of topics related to his interests and a recognized artist on the spoken-word poetry scene in the inner city.

Jim is interested in using a broad array of interdisciplinary tools to investigate the way socio-economic position, racial presupposition, and gender perspective already inform our values and orientation to life long before we begin to grapple with questions of identity, ministry or spirituality. He is particularly concerned to understand the way white supremacy, as an effect of colonial Christian practices, continues to be reproduced in mainstream Western cultures. In addition, he explores how the creative forms of cultural resistance developed by marginalized groups can critically challenge Christianity today. These concerns figure in both his academic writing and the performance poetry that he produce as a necessary adjunct to teaching. Becoming at least bi-cultural in communication skills and poly-rhythmic in spiritual practice is fast emerging as a requisite capacity for Christian leadership in a transnational world. And the need for a pedagogy adequate to such a demand is his consuming passion.

Areas of Interest

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