A Conversation with the 2015 Grawemeyer Award Winner Willie James Jennings

Willie James Jennings on theology, the origins of race, and his decision to get arrested

Willie Jennings
Photo by Charles Halton under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0)

The Grawemeyer Award in Religion is an annual prize that honors and promotes insights in the study of religion. The award is given jointly by the University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The 2015 Grawemeyer winner is the Rev. Dr. Willie James Jennings for his book, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race, which explains how Christianity contributed to segregation and racism in the United States since the colonial period. Jennings is Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School. He spoke with Marginalia’s Editor-in-Chief, Timothy Michael Law, and Managing Editor, Charles Halton, at Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffee House in San Diego during the annual meetings of SBL-AAR.

Special thanks to Chris Wooten and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary for facilitating this interview and to the Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse for accommodating.