Graduate Theological Union

James Noel

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Second Annual Womanist Symposium in January 2013

The Graduate Theological Union, San Francisco Theological Seminary, and McGee Avenue Baptist Church in Berkeley are teaming up to offer the second annual Womanist Symposium entitled “But Who Do They Say I Am?”

The symposium will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at McGee Avenue Baptist Church, 1640 Stuart Street, Berkeley, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

VIDEO: Black Religion in the Atlantic World During the Age of Revolution: Excavating the Sublime

Distinguished Faculty Lecture, November 8, 2012

James Noel, H. Eugene Farlough, Jr. Chair of African American Christianity and Professor of American Religion, San Francisco Theological School.

Respondent: Naomi Seidman, Koret Professor of Jewish Culture and Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union.

Noel named 2012 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer

Rev. Dr. James Noel, the H. Eugene Farlough, Jr. Chair of African American Christianity and Professor of American Religion at SFTS, will deliver this year's Distinguished Faculty Lecture on November 8. His lecture is entitled “Black Religion in the Atlantic World during the Age of Revolution: Excavating the ‘Sublime.’”

2012 Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 7:00pm

Dr. James Noel (SFTS), “Black Religion in the Atlantic World During the Age of Revolution: Excavating the ‘Sublime’”

James A. Noel

James A. NoelSan Francisco Theological Seminary
H. Eugene Farlough, Jr. California Professor of African American Christianity
Core Doctoral Faculty Member

At GTU since 1988

Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union
M.Div. San Francisco Theological Seminary
B.A. University of California at Berkeley

“Who Do They Say I Am?”

On Saturday, January 14, the Black Church/Africana Religious Studies Program hosted a Womanist Symposium – “Who Do They Say I Am?” at the McGee Avenue Baptist Church in Berkeley. The Honorable Congresswoman Barbara Lee, 9th Congressional District, was the morning keynote speaker.

The Moan and the Shout: James Noel on African American Religious Experience

Take a black sermon, print it in a book, then read it, and you have no idea what it means because it has been abstracted from the living worship of the black church, says the Rev. Dr. James Noel, (Ph.D. ’99), Farlough Professor of African American Christianity at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The sermon’s meaning, he says, is determined by the hymns sung, the testimonials, the prayers said before and after the sermon’s delivery, as well as what went on that week for parishioners.

“My fascination is with religious experience and its various modes of expression,” he says, “especially African American religious experience, which is different than that of Europeans or white Americans. The disciplines generated by both the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment aren’t adequate for elucidating black religion, and this has implications for theological education.”

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