Special Course Offerings - Spring 2014
ASC 001 - Sharing the Divine Pathos: Four Prophets in 20th Century America
Instructor : Professor Albert Jordy Raboteau
Description: The subjects of the lecture series include Dorothy Day, Howard Thurman, Thomas Merton, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The title of the series is based on a definition of the prophet by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel : “An analysis of prophetic utterances shows that the fundamental experience of the prophet is a fellowship with the feelings of God, sympathy with the divine pathos, a communion with the divine consciousness which comes about through the prophet’s reflection of, or participation in, the divine pathos....The prophet hears God’s voice and feels His heart. He tries to impart the pathos of the message…As an imparter his soul overflows, speaking as he does out of the fullness of his sympathy.” Each of the figures discussed in these lectures was moved to action by a deep compassion for those suffering injustice and each succeeded in conveying this compassion to the larger American public through writing, speaking, demonstrating, and organizing. They constituted a network of committed activists who effected significant changes in the attitudes and behavior of several generations of American citizens regarding major political issues of war, racism, and poverty. The series will examine and analyze the biographical influences that formed these activists and the connections that linked them together. By analyzing their theological and ethical positions and the rhetorical and strategic methods they employed these lectures will demonstrate how these exemplars of 20th century American prophecy persuasively mobilized Americans to commit themselves to movements for change.
Lecture 1: Doing the Works of Mercy: Dorothy Day And the Catholic Worker Movement
Lecture 2 : In Search of Community: Howard Thurman
Lecture 3 : Contemplation in a World of Action: Thomas Merton
Lecture 4 : Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil R ights Movement as Precedents For Religion in Politics
ASC 001 – Fridays
Friday, March 28, 2014, 10 am – 11:30 am
Friday, April 4, 2014, 10 am – 11:30 am
Friday, April 11, 2014, 10 am – 11:30 am
Friday, April 18, 2014, 10 am – 11:30 am
Other Information: Albert Jordy Raboteau, a native of Mississippi, grew up in Michigan and California. He graduated from Loyola University in Los Angeles and continued his studies in English Literature in the Graduate School of the University of California at Berkeley. After receiving a master's degree from Berkeley, he went to Marquette University to study Roman Catholic Theology. After two years of graduate study at Marquette, he taught Theology at Xavier University in New Orleans and then finished his Ph. D. in Religious Studies at Yale University. Raboteau has taught at Yale, Berkeley, Harvard, and currently is the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion Emeritus at Princeton University, where he chaired his department and served as Dean of the Graduate School. His written work includes Slave Religion: The 'Invisible Institution' in the Antebellum South, which was reprinted in an updated edition upon the 25th anniversary of its publication; A Fire in the Bones: Reflections on African-American Religious History; Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans; A Sorrowful Joy: a Spiritual Memoir. He co-edited with Richard Alba and Josh De Wind, Immigration and Religion in America: Comparative and Historical Perspectives.