Scholar-Activist Encounter: The Bible as a Living Text in Black Community

Scholar-Activist Encounters

February 02, 2023, 7:30pm Eastern Time

How do activism and scholarship contribute to our understanding of Scripture in the world today?

In honor of Black History Month, CLBSJ is hosting an interactive dialogue on the role that community churches and Biblical scripture play in galvanizing social justice organizing in Black communities. The evening will feature a dialogue between New Testament scholar Rev. Dr. Eric A. Thomas and Rev. Bryan McAllister, pastor of Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. The session will be hosted by CLBSJ Board Member Sr. Sharifa Vernice Meytung.

To register for this session, click here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Rev. Dr. Eric A. Thomas is a Teaching Professor of New Testament and Queer Studies at General Theological Seminary in New York City, and a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Louisville Institute. Eric is a graduate of Drew University where he completed the Ph.D. in New Testament with concentrations in Africana, and Women and Gender Studies, and the Interdenominational Theological Center where he completed his M.Div. His research explores the potential for queer people of color to engage with scriptural texts to articulate and embody their own modes of flourishing. In addition to his scholarship, Eric is a pastor and an activist, having served since 2017 at the Siloam Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY.

Rev. Bryan S. McAllister is the Pastor of Morris Brown A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia PA. He earned his B.A. from Norfolk State University and his M.Div with distinction from Payne Theological Seminary. His senior thesis focused on violent and nonviolent responses of the A.M.E. Church to social injustice and oppression. Along with his service to the church, Bryan has also served in the United States Air Force, as a Group Leader within the Support Homeless Veterans Organization in Philadelphia, and as the director of Black Church Affairs for Salvation and Social Justice. His ministry was recently highlighted in a profile on the resistance roots of the African Methodist Episcopal church published by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sr. Sharifa Vernice Meytung is an African-American artist, haijin (a writer of haiku poetry), teacher and lay religious practitioner in the Catholic and Buddhist traditions. Her practice is also steeped in and informed by West African, Native and HipHop traditions. She has studied in many community and academic settings, including the University of Erfurt, Germany. Her media books and CDs include Oil For The Lamp: 7 Virtues of Human Character Development, Hiphop H.A.I.K.U. Vol 1 and 2, Rough Ground, and other multimedia projects. Sister Sharifa serves as a Board member for the Philadelphia Buddhist Association and the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice.

The Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice invites you to join us for an interactive dialogue exploring the interfaces between scholarship and activism. How do these ways of being contribute to our understanding of Scripture in the world today? Let’s come together to learn from each other. Most events take place on the third Thursday of the month at 4:30pm Pacific Time / 7:30pm Eastern Time. We do not meet every month, and occasionally meet on a different night.

See the full schedule of the Scholar-Activist Encounter series. For questions, email

This series is co-sponsored by the Community of Living Traditions.