A Leader in African and African American Studies

James Logan is associate professor of religion and associate professor and director of the program in African and African American Studies (AAAS).

Born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx, Logan earned a B.A. at Goshen College, an M.A. from Anabapist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and a Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of Good Punishment? Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment (Eerdmans Publishing, 2008) and Ethics That Matters: African, Caribbean, and African American Sources, co-edited with Marcia Riggs (Fortress Press, 2012) as well as several articles and chapters in books.

When it comes to making connections between what is studied in AAAS classrooms and the lived experiences of African and Diaspora peoples, Logan sounds a hopeful tone concerning the institutional context for a vigorous tracking of Black life and history at Earlham College:

“The fact that Earlham is such a diverse place is a beautiful start,” says Logan. “Within that diversity, every individual and group will try to survive, seek justice and flourish. But as African and African Diaspora peoples seek these goals, even at Earlham, we must remember that throughout their history Black peoples have been a pariah people. We must note that institutions like Earlham (as well-meaning as they want to be) were created primarily for the care, comfort and wellbeing of White identified peoples. So we need to transform this narrative at Earlham even as we in AAAS seek to describe, correct, and offer prescriptive measures in the service of Black humanity in the broader cosmopolitan society and world.”

Logan believes that there is much work to be done to make Earlham a truly welcoming place for all, but he believes that working to establish trust and (non-oppressive) patience are essential to this effort.

“It should be very hard for us to give up on one another,” says Logan.

James Logan
James Logan

Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary

Hometown: New York City

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