TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Dr. Jonathan L. Walton, a social ethicist and scholar of religions, has been selected as the 2017 Realizing the Dream distinguished lecturer.
He will give his Realizing the Dream lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the Embassy Suites Ballroom. It’s free and open to the public.
Each year, the community celebrates the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Realizing the Dream activities including a concert, Legacy Awards banquet, performing arts event, Unity Day programs and a lecture.
The celebration, much of which takes place during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, is sponsored in part by an endowment from the Fiesta Bowl and is the work of an alliance comprised of Stillman College, Shelton State Community College, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and The University of Alabama.
Walton, who is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and professor of religion and society at Harvard Divinity School, has published widely in scholarly journals including Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation; and Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. His work and insights have been featured in national and international news outlets including The New York Times, CNN and the BBC.
Walton’s research addresses the intersections of religion, politics and media culture. He joined the faculty at Harvard in July 2010 and has been the Plummer Professor since being appointed to that position by Harvard University President Drew Faust in 2012. He also serves as the Pusey Minister in Harvard’s Memorial Church.
Walton recently received the Bennie Service Award in Religion from one of his alma maters, Morehouse College in Atlanta, at its 29th annual “A Candle in the Dark Gala,” which honors the achievements of men in business, entertainment and religion.
In addition to earning a bachelor’s in political science from Morehouse, Walton earned his Ph.D. in religion and society and master’s in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is an ordained Baptist minister.
Walton serves on several professional boards and committees, including the board of trustees at Princeton Theological Seminary and the national advisory board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.