It was a homecoming for acclaimed American theologian and professor from Howard University’s School of Divinity, Antiguan-born Dr. Kortright Davis, when he and his colleague, noted American theologian and professor Dr. Cain Hope Felder, shared their academic perspectives during a free public lecture on the theology of inclusion hosted by the U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS at the Multipurpose Cultural Center on June 19.
During their respective presentations, Dr. Davis and Dr. Felder discussed the theology of inclusion by referencing sacred texts that promote the inclusion of marginalized groups. They also discussed the ways in which culture, institutions, and governments have evolved and adapted to the realities of a vibrant, pluralistic society. In the break between the speakers’ lectures, the U.S. Embassy presented an insightful video that highlighted different leaders’ opinions on what inclusion means to them and why it’s important for society. At the end of their presentations, Dr. Davis and Dr. Felder fielded questions from the audience about their interpretations of the relationship between inclusion and religion.
Distinguished members of the audience included: Deputy Governor General, Sir Clare Roberts; former Prime Minister and MP for City West, Baldwin Spencer; Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel “Max” Hurst; Kingsley Lewis, Bishop of the Moravian Church; and several representatives from the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Persons with Disabilities.
Ahead of the lecture, the professors made a book presentation to the American Corner located at the Antigua Public Library, St. John’s. The books, which the professors wrote, included: Race, Racism, and the Biblical Narratives; The Africana Bible; Serving with Power; True to our Native Land; The Original African Heritage Study Bible; Cross and Crown in Barbados; Stony the Road we Trod; Emancipation Still Comin’; and Troubling Biblical Waters.
The professors’ visit to the Eastern Caribbean began last week in Barbados when they co-presented a lecture for practicing clerics, lay ministers, and seminarians, as well as visited Her Majesty’s Prison at Dodds, where they co-presented a special lecture for inmates on reconciliation, redemption, and forgiveness. The U.S. Embassy invited Dr. Felder and Dr. Davis to the Eastern Caribbean as part of a continuing dialogue that underscores the importance of integration and human rights, and fostering more equitable and just societies.