A conversation between 2 eminent Black thinkers on how to work together to make the world a better place despite deep religious differences

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Product Code: 9346
ISBN: 9780807020319
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Pages: 240
Published Date: 06/11/2024
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $20.95

Brad Braxton and Anthony Pinn represent two traditions—Christianity and Secular Humanism respectively—that have for centuries existed in bitter opposition. For too long, people with different worldviews have disparaged and harmed one another. Instead of fighting each other, Braxton and Pinn talk with, listen to, and learn from one another. Their wide-ranging conversation demonstrates the possibility of fruitful exchange that accounts for—rather than masks—their differences.

Written amid the Covid-19 pandemic, threats to our democracy, and national protests for racial justice, A Master Class on Being Human shows us that constructive dialogue can help us pursue the common good without sacrificing our distinctive identities. In conversations that are frank, personal, and deeply informed by scholarship, Braxton and Pinn discuss topics that are urgent and immediate, such as the ongoing violence against Black communities, the rise of religiously unaffiliated communities, the Black Lives Matter movement. They also ponder those broader philosophical and theological questions that inform our politics and sense of what it means to be human: the meaning of religion, the stubborn dilemma of moral evil, the power and problems of hope.

Braxton and Pinn invite us to join them in a master class as they strive to create a world where differences are not tolerated but instead celebrated. In that kind of courageous classroom, all can learn how to be better people who in turn transform the world into a better place.

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What Is Religion, and Does It Help or Harm?
What About Black “Nones”?
Theodicy (Is God Good?) and Anthropodicy (Are Humans Good?)
What About Black Death?
Hope and Talk of the Future
What Do We Learn from Black Lives Matter?
Does (or Should) Religion Have a Public Role?
In This Master Class, We All Have Homework


“This illuminating conversation between a Black Christian theologian and a Black atheist is a seminal text in the emerging field of Black interfaith studies. It is a beautiful model of how to constructively engage on matters of fundamental disagreement even while strengthening collaboration on issues of mutual concern.” —Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith America and author of We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy

“Professors Braxton and Pinn remind us that dialogue between people shaped by and holding diverse, if not disparate, worldviews and life experiences is critical for the well-being of both the body and the spirit, and that such engagement must be based not on the goal of uniformity but on appreciation and affirmation of the differences and distinctions that make us who we truly are. This seminal work is a primer for leaders in all sectors committed to strategically engaging, with ‘curiosity, humility, and respect,’ the seemingly entrenched and immutable conflicts, disagreements, and divisions that characterize so much of today”s society.” —David Leslie, executive director, Rothko Chapel

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