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Obery Hendricks

Distinguished Senior Fellow for Faith, Power, and the Democratic Economy

Dr. Obery Hendricks joins The Democracy Collaborative as a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Faith, Power, and the Democratic Economy, and will advance our work around engaging faith leaders, and outlining the role that religion, faith, and theology can play in shifting the public’s moral imagination about the political economy. 

A life long social activist, Obery Hendricks is one of America’s foremost commentators on the intersection of religion and politics. He is the most widely read and perhaps the most influential African American biblical scholar writing today. The Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation has called his work “the boldest post-colonial writing ever seen in Western biblical studies.” Cornel West calls him “one of the last few grand prophetic intellectuals.”

He is the author of Living Water: A Novel (HarperSanFrancisco, 2001), The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted (Doubleday, 2006), the featured subject of the 90-minute C-SPAN special hosted by the Center for American Progress, “Class, Politics and Christianity,” and The Universe Bends Toward Justice: Radical Reflections on the Bible, the Church and the Body Politic (Orbis, 2011).

A former Wall Street investment executive and college president, he is currently a Visiting Scholar in Religion and African Studies at Columbia University and Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary. An Ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hendricks holds the Master of Divinity with academic honors from Princeton Theological Seminary, and both the M.A. and Ph.D. in Religions of Late Antiquity from Princeton University.