BIO

A life long social activist, Obery Hendricks is one of America’s foremost commentators on the intersection of religion and politics. He is the most widely read and perhaps the most influential African American biblical scholar writing today. The Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation has called his work “the boldest post-colonial writing ever seen in Western biblical studies.” Cornel West calls him “one of the last few grand prophetic intellectuals.”

A widely sought lecturer and media spokesperson, Dr. Hendricks’ television appearances include CNN, CBS, Fox News, Fox Business News, the Discovery Channel, PBS, BBC, C-SPAN, NHK Japan Television and the Bloomberg Network. He has been an expert on-air commentator in five documentaries, including the 2015 six-part documentary, “Finding Jesus: Fact, Fiction, Forgery,” the most watched non-election program in CNN’s history.

He is the author of Living Water: A Novel (HarperSanFrancisco, 2001), The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted (Doubleday, 2006), the featured subject of the 90-minute C-SPAN special hosted by the Center for American Progress, “Class, Politics and Christianity,” and The Universe Bends Toward Justice: Radical Reflections on the Bible, the Church and the Body Politic (Orbis, 2011).

A former Wall Street investment executive and college president, he is currently a Visiting Scholar in Religion and African Studies at Columbia University and Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary. An Ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hendricks holds the Master of Divinity with academic honors from Princeton Theological Seminary, and both the M.A. and Ph.D. in Religions of Late Antiquity from Princeton University.

A life long social activist, Obery Hendricks is considered one of the foremost commentators on the intersection of religion and political economy in America. He is the most widely read and perhaps the most influential African American biblical scholar writing today. Cornel West calls him “one of the last few grand prophetic intellectuals.”

A widely sought lecturer and media spokesperson, Dr. Hendricks’ appearances include CNN, CBS, Fox News, Fox Business News, the Discovery Channel, PBS, BBC, NHK Japan Television and the Bloomberg Network. He has provided running event commentary for National Public Radio, MSNBC, and the al-Jazeera and Aspire international television networks. Dr. Hendricks has been a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Democratic National Committee, for whom he delivered the closing benediction at the 2008 Democratic Convention; served on the National Religious Leaders Advisory Committee of the 2008 Democratic Presidential campaign and served in the Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group at the U. S. Department of State under Secretaries of States Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. He has been an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for American Progress and serves on the boards of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Gamaliel Foundation. Dr. Hendricks is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and Salon.com, a former editorial advisor to the award-winning Tikkun magazine, and a contributing editor to The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion. The Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation has called his work “the boldest post-colonial writing ever seen in Western biblical studies.”

Hendricks’ bestselling book, The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted (Doubleday, 2006), was declared “essential reading for Americans” by the Washington Post. Social commentator Michael Eric Dyson proclaims it “an instant classic” that “immediately thrusts Hendricks into the front ranks of American religious thinkers.” The Politics of Jesus was the featured subject of the 90-minute C-SPAN special hosted by the Center for American Progress, “Class, Politics and Christianity.” Governor Howard Dean has pronounced his most recent book, The Universe Bends Toward Justice: Radical Reflections on the Bible, the Church and the Body Politic (Orbis, 2011), a “tour de force.”

 A former Wall Street investment executive and past president of Payne Theological Seminary, the oldest African American theological seminary in the United States, Dr. Hendricks is currently a Senior Fellow at The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice communications think tank; a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, with appointments in the Department of Religion and the Institute for Research in African American Studies; and is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary. An Ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hendricks holds the Master of Divinity with academic honors from Princeton Theological Seminary, and both the M.A. and Ph.D. in Religions of Late Antiquity from Princeton University.              

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