James Logan, Ph.D.

Associate academic dean for faculty; Professor of religion; Professor and director of African and African American studies

Email:[email protected]

Department: African and African American Studies

Office: Academic Affairs

Location: Carpenter Hall Room 334
Landrum Bolling Center Room 205
801 National Road
Richmond, Indiana 47374

About me

I was born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx. I received a B.A. in psychology/pre-law from Goshen College, an M.A. in theology and ethics from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and a Ph.D. in religion and society from Princeton Theological Seminary.

I am a professor of religion and professor and director of African and African American studies. I also serve as associate academic dean. I am the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies. My 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.

I teach at Earlham because it is one of the country’s outstanding liberal arts institutions strivng to reflect and engage many identities, experiences, and voices of the world.

My favorite activities are conference participation, research and some publishing, speaking engagements, faculty advising of student organizations, tracking the interrelated cultural productions of society: e.g., music, art, dance, religion, politics, crime and punishment, etc.

Outside of my professional life, I enjoy traveling back to the mid-Atlantic (especially New York City) for the cultural arts and visiting family. I also enjoy attending college sporting events and playing saxophone.


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

Professional memberships

American Academy of Religion
Society for the Study of Black Religion
Society of Christian Ethics

Research projects

The Limits of Perfection: Race, Nonviolence and Anabaptist Peace Church Assimilation into the American Social Order

Scholarly interest

  • Race, Nonviolence and Anabaptist Peace Church Assimilations into the American Social Order
  • Religion & Culture of Hip Hop
  • Mass Incarceration

Published works

Selected publications:


Ethics That Matters: African, Caribbean, and African American Sources, co-editor with Marcia Riggs (Columbia Theological Seminary), Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

Good Punishment?: Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2008.

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

Book Chapters

“Mass Incarceration,” T&T Clark Handbook of Christian Ethics. Tobias Winright, ed. (London: T&T Clark), 2021, 249–257.

“The Ethics, Politics, and Civic Engagement of African American Theological Production,” T&T Clark Handbook of African American Theology. Frederick L. Ware, Antonia A. Daymond, and Eric Lewis Williams, eds. (London: T&T Clark), 2019, pp. 237–255.

“Religion, Environmental Racism, 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, 2016), pp. 243–262.

“Prisons and Prison Reform,” Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, Joel B. Green, General Editor (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011), pp. 624–627

“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 57, eds., Margaret R. Pfeil and Tobias L. Winright (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2012), 30–37.

“Immanuel Kant on Categorical Imperative,” in Beyond the Pale: Reading Ethics From the Margins, eds. Miguel De La Torre and Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2011, pp. 69–80.

“Come Sunday, Will We Be a True Communion,” in Gathering at the
Hearth: Stories Mennonites Tell
, John E. Sharp, ed. (Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2001), 158–166.


CrossCurrents, Special Issue Editor, “Religion, Political Democracy, and Specters of Race,” (New York: The Sheridan Press), Vol. 68, No. 1, March 2018.

“The Ground of Covenant Community & The Righteous Scandal of Christian Love for the World,” Theology Today, (Princeton, NJ) Vol. 75, Issue 4, January 1, 2019, pp. 434–446.

“The Ground and Educational Ministry of Ethics: A (Darkly Hued) Anabaptist Perspective.” The Conrad Grebel Review (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), Vol. 34, No. 1, Winter 2017, pp. 59–71.

“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.

“Liberalism, Race, and Stanley Hauerwas,” CrossCurrents (New York: The Sheridan Press), Vol. 55, No. 4, Winter 2006, 522–533.

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

Writings Online

“Work-Life Balance and the Black Professor,” Religious Studies News (The American Academy of Religion), March 14, 2016. http://rsn.aarweb.org/guide-guild/work-life-balance-and-black-professor

“(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. https://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/everywhere-ferguson-and-socio-religious-challenge-hip-hop-culture

Selected book reviews:

Draw G. I. Hart, Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism (Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press, 2016), Mennonite Quarterly Review (Goshen, IN) Vol. XCIII, No. 2, April, 2019, pp. 298–301.

Reggie L. Williams. Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2014), Modern Theology, 2016, Volume 32, Issue 3, 443–447.

Vincent Lloyd, Editor. Race and Political Theology (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012), Political Theology, May 2014, Volume 15, No. 3, 278–280.

Jennifer Graber, The Furnace of Affliction: Prisons & Religion in Antebellum America (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011), The Conrad Grable Review. Spring 2014, Volume 32, Number 2, 210–212.

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, Vol. 13, No 4.

John Howard Yoder. Nonviolence: A Brief History: The Warsaw Lectures (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2010), Theology Today, April 2011, Volume 68, No 1, 94–95.

Selected presentations:

“Who Are You Class of 2020?: An Open Letter Concerning Holding Fast & Moving Forward In A Viral Time…And Beyond. Baccalaureate Address, Earlham College’s 173rd Baccalaureate Ceremony, May 2020.

“The Ground of Covenant Community & The Righteous Scandal of Christian Love for the World.” Ph.D. Reunion Dinner, Keynote Lecture, Princeton Seminary, May 14, 2018.  

“The Crucible of Mass Incarceration and the Righteous Scandal and Politics of Jesus.” Annual Howard Thurman Lecture, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, October 18, 2017. 

“The Art of Hip Hop Religion & Culture in Public Life.” Keeney Peace Lecture, Bluffton University, April 11, 2017.

“A (lacixodaraP) World of Fire & Peace.” Baccalaureate Address, Earlham College’s 169th Baccalaureate Ceremony, May 7, 2016.

Panel Speaker. The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Columbia University: Symposium Entitled: “Toward the Reform of the Criminal Justice System: Religious Perspectives.” Friday April 15, 2016.

Everywhere Ferguson and the Racial Crucible of the Christian Churches.” Methodist Theological School in Ohio 30th Anniversary Symposium, Faithful Justice: Confronting Mass Incarceration. February 26, 2016.

“Kelly Gissendaner: Amazing Grace and the Crucible of State Sponsored Execution.” Remarks given at Special Session on Anti-Death Penalty Advocacy, the American Academy of Religion, November 20, 2015, Atlanta, GA. Session Theme: Against Capital Punishment, and in Memory of Kelly Gissendaner. A short candlelight vigil in memory of Kelly Gissendaner was held out on the street after the session.

“‘Everywhere Ferguson’ and the Racial Crucible of the Christian Peace Churches.” Presidential Forum, Bethany Theological Seminary. Richmond, IN, October 31, 2015. 

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

“Healing Memory, Ontological Intimacy, and U. S. Imprisonment: Toward a Christian Politics of ‘Good Punishment’ in Civil Society.” College of Wooster Academy of Religion. April 18, 2013.

Staley Lectures (Bethel College, KS): “The Prison Industrial Complex in Civil Society” and “Racism and the ‘Criminal Justice’ System.” Thursday and Friday February 21 and 22, 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.

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).

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.