Dr. Ahmad Greene-Hayes is an Assistant Professor of African American Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School. He joined the faculty at Harvard in July 2022 after teaching at Northwestern University as Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Religious Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University and he also earned certificates in African American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. He is the past recipient of numerous fellowships and awards from the Ford Foundation, the American Academy of Religion, the Mellon Mays Foundation, the Political Theology Network, the Social Science Research Council, and many more. During the 2017-2018 academic year, he held the prestigious LGBT Studies Research Fellowship at Yale University, and in 2020, he was awarded the American Society of Church History Research Fellowship. Dr. Greene-Hayes’ research has been published in The Black Scholar, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, The Journal of African American History, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies and forthcoming work in the Journal of Africana Religions. His other writing and public commentary on issues of race, gender, sexuality, politics, and religion have also appeared in Essence, Ebony, The Immanent Frame, and Black Perspectives: a blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, among many other platforms. Dr. Greene-Hayes is currently working on a book manuscript entitled, Underworld Work: Black Atlantic Religion-Making in Jim Crow New Orleans, which is under advance contract with the University of Chicago Press in the Class 200: New Studies in Religion series.
Crossroads Research Fellow Project
To Tell Our Story: The Founding of Black Religious Studies and the Role of Its Founders
Just in the last four years, the field of Black religious studies, and the academy and church more broadly, have lost several influential figures in the study of Black religions, including but not limited to the Rev. Dr. James Hal Cone (1938-2018), the Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon (1950-2018), Dr. Charles H. Long (1926-2020), and Dr. Albert J. Raboteau (1943-2021). Each of these scholars and practitioners of Black religions contributed to the shaping of the guild and left indelible marks on their respective subfields. For Cone, it was Black Theology; for Cannon, it was Black Womanist Theology and Ethics; for Long, it was the study of the History of Religions; and for Raboteau, it was African American religious history. “To Tell Our Story” is an oral history project dedicated to collecting the narratives of the students and peers of Cone, Cannon, Long, and Raboteau to chart and archive intellectual genealogies in the study of Black religions, across methodological approaches, but most explicitly, as it relates to the subfields of theology, ethics, philosophy, and history. This project uses “students” here, not to reify patriarchal and academic hierarchy, but rather to suggest that we have benefited greatly from these scholars’ contributions and are still learning from them as their written works allow them to speak quite literally from the grave as archival ancestors. This project, then, attempts to tell only part of the story of how Black religious studies was founded in the post-civil rights era.