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The Education Commission invites you to join a lunch and lecture in 9T with special guest Dr. Keri Day on a conversation on her new book, “Azusa Reimagined,” moderated by Riverside’s own Theologian In Residence Dr. Andrea White. In Azusa Reimagined, Keri Day explores how the Azusa Street Revival of 1906, out of which U.S. Pentecostalism emerged, directly critiqued America’s distorted capitalist values and practices at the start of the twentieth century. Employing historical research, theological analysis, and critical theory, Day demonstrates that Azusa’s religious rituals and traditions rejected the racial norms and profit-driven practices that many white Christian communities gladly embraced.
Through its sermons and social practices, the Azusa community critiqued racialized conceptions of citizenship that guided early capitalist endeavors such as world fairs and expositions. Azusa also envisioned deeper democratic practices of human belonging and care than the white nationalist loyalties early U.S. capitalism encouraged. In this lucid work, Day makes Azusa’s challenge to this warped economic ecology visible, showing how Azusa not only offered a radical critique of racial capitalism but also offers a way for contemporary religious communities to cultivate democratic practices of belonging against the backdrop of late capitalism’s deep racial divisions and material inequalities. Books can be purchased in the Riverside Welcome Center.
About the author
Keri Day is an Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religion at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. She earned a B.S. in Political Science and Economics from Tennessee State University, an M.A. in Religion and Ethics from Yale University Divinity School, and her Ph.D. in Religion from Vanderbilt University. Her academic research focuses on how African American theology and black religious thought address global economics, especially among women of the African Diaspora. Her articles and essays on religion, culture, and economics have been published in several nationally regarded journals. She has authored four academic books, Unfinished Business: Black Women, The Black Church, and the Struggle to Thrive in America (2012); Religious Resistance to Neoliberalism: Womanist and Black Feminist Perspectives (2015); Notes of a Native Daughter: Testifying in Theological Education (2021); and her most recent book, Azusa Reimagined: A Radical Vision of Religious and Democratic Belonging, (2022). She has also been recognized by NBC News as one of six black women at the center of gravity in theological education in America.
Alongside her scholarship, she also engages public policy leaders. She has participated in White House briefings in Washington D.C. to discuss issues related to economic policy, religious freedom, faith-based initiatives, human rights efforts, and peace building efforts around the world. She has been a guest political commentator on KERA/NPR, DFW/FOX News, and Huffpost Live with Marc Lamont Hill on issues related to faith and politics. She has written for the New York Daily News, The Christian Century, The Feminist Wire, and The Huffington Post.