Black August: Jeremy Williams on Acts 16:16-40

Black August

August 02, 2022, 7:30pm Eastern Time

A deep dive into the transformative and revolutionary aspects of Black religion.

Rev. Dr. Jeremy Williams of Brite Divinity School will launch our second annual Black August Series. Dr. Williams, whose research focuses on biblical passages where imperial and local officials criminalized the Jesus-following movement, will lead us in a deep dive into Acts 16:16-40, the story of Paul and Silas in prison. Sharon Chestnut, a faith-based organizations specialist and spiritual educator, will offer a response to Dr. Williams’ teaching.

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Rev. Dr. Jeremy Williams is a scholar of religion who specializes in New Testament and Early Christianity. His research involves studying biblical passages, especially in Acts, where imperial and local officials criminalize the Jesus following movement. His approach involves using Roman legal studies, critical race theory, Black studies, womanist cultural criticism, myth criticism, and material culture to assess how ancient texts crafted narratives to racialize, criminalize, and victimize individuals and groups of people. Conscious of the role that the Bible plays in public policy, he is invested in developing strategies for reading biblical texts in ways that expose the logics that fuel mass incarceration, over-policing, and discriminatory practices in Western judicial systems. Jeremy has a number of forthcoming publications including, “Victory Today is Mine: The Present, Power, and Perseverance in Revelation 12:1-12.” Dr. Williams is an ordained elder in full connection in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church with almost two decades of ministerial experience. Read his full bio here.

Sharon Chestnut is a faith-based organizations specialist, writer, visual artist and spiritual educator from Philadelphia, PA. She holds a BA in philosophy from Haverford College, an MDiv focused in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary, certifications in organizational dynamics and counseling from the New School, and a certificate in painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She specializes in reinterpreting complex conceptual material for use in both enfranchised and underserved audiences; serving a variety of socially progressive, therapeutic and faith-based organizations as well as traditional educational settings. She is a practiced cultural liaison and interlocutor, deploying as extensive catalogue of visual and written source material to expose socially-conditioned paradigms and raise awareness of pre-conscious systematic perceptual biases. Sharon also provides communications and author services for private clients.