James Logan
Associate Professor of Religion; Associate Professor and Director of African and African American Studies; Class Dean; National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies

James Logan was born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx. He received a B.A. in Psychology/Pre-Law from Goshen College, an M.A. in theology and ethics from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and Ph.D. in religion and society from Princeton Seminary. He is Associate Professor of Religion, and Associate Professor and Director of African and African American Studies. He was recently appointed the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies. Logan's areas of teaching and research cover religious, philosophical and social ethics; religion and law; constructive Christian theologies; Black religion; theories of religion; and the relationships among religion, ethics and politics in civil/public life.

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 94



334 Carpenter Hall; 205 Landrum Bolling Center

Office Hours
by appointment


  • African and African American Studies
  • Religion
  • Office of the Academic Dean


  • Ph.D., Princeton Seminary
  • M.A., Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
  • B.A., Goshen College

Selected Courses:

Is Religion "T(t)rue"?
History of African American Religious Experiences
Introduction to African American Studies
Criminal Justice and Moral Vision
Religion and Culture of Hip Hop
Love, Protest, and Hope
"Human Nature" and Social Change
Text Seminar: Native American Religion/s
Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies in Religion

Manuscript in process tentatively titled, The Limits of Perfection: Race, Nonviolence, and Anabaptist Peace Church Assimilation into the American Social Order.

Selected Publications:

"Religion, the Natural World, and Migrations of Black Body and Soul," in Theology and Migration in World Christianity: Contextual Perspectives (in Three Volumes), Volume 3: Christianities in Migration: The Global Perspective, eds. Elaine Padilla and Peter Phan (Palgrave McMillian, in press).

"(Everywhere) Ferguson and the Socio-Religious Challenge of Hip Hop Culture." Sightings. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Divinity School's Martin Marty Center for Advanced Research, March 19, 2015.

“Healing Memory, Ontological Intimacy, and U.S. Imprisonment: Toward a Christian Politics of ‘Good Punishment’ in Civil Society," Law & Contemporary Problems. Durham, NC: Duke University School of Law, Volume 75, Number 4, 2012. Pgs. 77–86.

"A Response and Invitation to Discernment and Open Dialogue" (aka, "Religion, Environmental Racism and the Black Body") in Violence, Transformation, and the Sacred: They Shall Be Called Children of God, College Theology Society Annual Volume 56, edited by Margaret R. Pfeil and Tobias L. Winright (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2012).

Ethics That Matters: African, Caribbean, and African American Sources, Co-Edited with Marcia Riggs (Fortress Press, 2012).

“Immanuel Kant on Categorical Imperative,” in Beyond the Pale: Reading Christian Ethics From the Margins, Eds. Miguel De La Torre and Stacey Floyd-Thomas (Westminster John Knox, 2011).

“Prisons and Prison Reform,” The Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics (Baker Academic, 2011).

“Dividing Lines: Where Prisoners Stand in the Divine Politics of Jesus,” Sojourners (February 2011).

Good Punishment? Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment (Eerdmans, 2008).

“Liberalism, Race, and Stanley Hauerwas,” CrossCurrents (Winter 2006).

Selected Book Reviews:

Jennifer Graber, The Furnace of Affliction: Prisons & Religion in Antebellum America. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Conrad Grable ReviewSpring 2014, Volume 32, Number 2.

Alex Mikulich, Laurie Cassidy, and Margaret Pfeil. The Scandal of White Complicity in US Hyper-Incarceration: A Nonviolent Spirituality of White Resistance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. The Journal of Lutheran Ethics. July/August 2013, Volume 13, No 4.

Vincent Lloyd, Editor. Race And Political Theology. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012. Fall 2013 in Political Theology, Volume 14, No. 5.

Nonviolence: A Brief History: The Warsaw Lectures by John Howard Yoder (Baylor University Press, 2010) for Theology Today (April 2011).

Selected Presentations:

“Everywhere Doing Time: Mass Incarceration as Theo-Ethical Challenge in Civil Society.” Keynote Address, World Mission Institute, Chicago, IL. Theme: Prisons: Realities, New Mission. April 16, 2015.

"Hold-Up, Not-So-Fast Reconciliation and the Ground of Peaceable Christian Hope.” Public Lecture, Duke University Divinity School, March 22, 2015.

“Race, Mass Incarceration and the Black Body: Teaching as Ministry.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, African/African American Working Group. Session Theme: The New Jim Crow in African American Theological Perspective, Chicago, IL, January 9, 2015.

“A Christian Politics of (Sometimes Funky) Love.” Commencement Address, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, May 24, 2014.

“A World Yearning For Your (Sometimes Funky) Love.” Baccalaureate Address, Earlham College’s 167th Baccalaureate Ceremony, May 14, 2014.

Co-Presenter with Michelle Alexander (author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness). Methodist Church U.S.A. Symposium entitled, “Christian Ethics and the Crisis in the U.S. Criminal Justice System,” Columbus, OH, March 8, 2014.  

“Punishing Black Bodies: The Nerve Center of Mass Incarceration in Civil Society.” University of Akron School of Law, Akron, OH, February 15, 2014.

Respondent, American Academy of Religion Roundtable, “Break Every Yoke: Religion, Power and the Ends of Mass Incarceration.” Annual Meetings, Baltimore, MD, November 25, 2013

“Toward and Christian Vision and Politics of ‘Good Punishment’ in Civil Society.” Paper delivered at a Religion, Abolition & Mass Incarceration Conference, Cornell University. October 4-5, 2013.  
“Toward a Christian Politics of ‘Good Punishment?’” Duke University Law School Symposium, Theological Argument in the Law: Engaging Stanley Hauerwas, September 9, 2011.

Forester Lecture (Huntington University): “Healing Memory, Ontological Intimacy, and U.S. Imprisonment: Toward a Christian Politics of ‘Good Punishment’ in Civil Society,” March 6, 2012.

"A Response and Invitation to Discernment and Open Dialogue" (aka, "Religion, Environmental Racism and the Black Body"), a response to M. Shawn Copeland’s Keynote Address, “God Among the Ruins: Companion and Co-Sufferer.” The College Theology Society’s Annual Meeting, Summer 2010, Iona College.   

Presider, Afro-American Religious History Group: “African-American and Latino/a Mennonites: Marginal No More.” American Academy of Religion 2010 Annual Meetings Atlanta, GA, October 31.

Research Consultant: The Role of Prison Chaplains and Religion in Rehabilitation and Re-entry. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Spring, 2012.

Doctoral Faculty Mentor: The Fund For Theological Education (2007–2010)

Presider, Special Topics Forum: “Queering Communities of Color.” Sponsored by the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee of the American Academy of Religion. 2009 Annual Meetings Montréal, Quebec, Canada, November 8. Session explored the tensions existing within religious communities of color over issues relating to LGBTIQ praxis.

“Strangers No More: Conversational Essays Between Doctoral Students,” Perspectivas. Facilitator and Editor (Princeton, NJ: Hispanic Theological Initiative, Fall 2008).

“Toward an Attitude of ‘Good Punishment’ in the Service of Christian Responsibility in the Public Square.” Paper given for the Ethics Section, American Academy of Religion, 2008, Chicago, IL. Session Theme: Criminal Injustice and Christian Responsibility: Christianity and the Criminal Justice System.

“Notes on The Politics of Memory, Narrative and Christian Responsibility (or Rethinking John Howard Yoder and Stanley Hauerwas on the Politics of Jesus).” Lecture given to the New Perspectives in Theology Group (Goshen, IN), June 2008.

“A (Not So) Simple Word of (Audacious) Hope.” Baccalaureate Address, Earlham College’s 161st Baccalaureate Ceremony, May 3, 2008.

“Healing Memory, Ontological Intimacy, and U.S. Imprisonment: Toward a Christian Politics of ‘Good Punishment.’” Lecture given for the Religion and Race Workshop, University of Chicago (The Divinity School and the Council of Advanced Studies). January 15, 2008.

Presider, Wildcard Session, The American Academy of Religion, 2007, San Diego, CA. Session Theme: Restorative Justice and the U.S. Penal System.

“Strangers No More: Learning to Dialogue Across Difference.” Panel Participant (Sponsored by the Fund for Theological Education and the Hispanic Theological Initiative), November 2005  Pre-Annual Conference Meeting of the American Academy of Religion.

“Racial & Ethnic Minority Mentoring: A Conversation Among Graduate Students and Professors.” Panel Participant, November 2005 Annual Conference Meetings of the American Academy of Religion.

“King’s Moral Vision Today,” Princeton Seminary (February, 2006).

“That’s Love,” Sermon to Joint Weekly Service of Earlham School of Religion and Bethany Theological Seminary (November 2004).

“Black Student Survival at a Predominately White Liberal Arts College.” Earlham College Panel Presentation for African and African American Faculty-Student Luncheon (Sponsored by Office of Multicultural Affairs, September, 2004).

"Race, Nonviolence and 'Mainstream' Mennonite Assimilation into the American Social Order." Presented at Princeton University, Center for the Study of Religion, March 2002.

“Introduction to the Black Liberation Theology and Ethics of James Cone and the Responses of His Interlocutors”; “Mennonite Social Assimilation: From Nonviolence to (Active) Pacifism”; “Reinhold Niebuhr’s Christian Realism as Challenge to Anabaptist-Mennonite Nonviolence”: lectures presented at Goshen College, Alumni Scholar Forum (January 2000).

American Academy of Religion

Society for the Study of Black Religion

Society of Christian Ethics

Because it one of the country's outstanding liberal arts institutions.

Cosmopolitan and diverse.

Conference participation, research and publishing, speaking engagements, working with doctoral students, faculty advising of student organizations, tracking interrelated cultural productions in society: music, art, dance, religion, politics, crime and punishment, etc.

Traveling to New York City for the cultural arts and visiting extended family, attending college sporting events, saxophone playing.

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