K. Brooke Anderson was Executive Secretary of the Brown Christian Association from 1928 until 1957, a position in which he had a profound impact on the lives of many in the Brown community, students, faculty and staff alike. Mr. Anderson had served for two years in World War I with the French Army Ambulance Service, receiving the Silver Star citation from General Pershing and decorated by France for his work. Still, the experience left him deeply disillusioned, and a lifelong commitment to pacifism began. He worked with prisoners of war in Syria, Egypt, and Jerusalem from 1919-1921, and later, after World War II, with Arab refugees in the Gaza Strip. He remained an active advocate for peace for the rest of his life. After his death in 1975 at the age of 83, his family established the K. Brooke Anderson Memorial Fund, shared by the Department of Religious Studies and the Office of the Chaplains of Brown University, to support annual lectures for the University and community with a focus on areas of interfaith relations (especially Christian, Muslim, and Jewish relations), race relations, and world peace; topics have included hunger, poverty, refugees, disarmament, and the religious and moral grounds for pacifism. Past presenters have included poet Amir Sulaiman (2018), Pulitzer Prize winning author Marilynne, Robinson '66 (2017), David Carrasco, Harvard Divinity School (2014); Eddie S. Glaude, Princeton University (2013); Dr. Rami Nashashibia, Director of the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago (2012); and Amy Hollywood, Harvard University (2011). We are deeply indebted to the Anderson family who have made this lecture series possible.
The 2023 K. Brooke Anderson Lecture will be on Wednesday, May 3rd (4:30pm in Smith Buonnano 106) and feature Dr. Lerone A. Martin, Faculty Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University, titled "The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism."
Dr. Lerone A. Martin is a historian of religion in the twentieth century. His books and scholarship provide critical context for the forces of religion, politics, and race that have shaped the contemporary American political and social landscape.
His appointment to the position of Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor was the result of a national search to succeed the storied King Institute’s founding director after more than 40 years in the role, making Martin only the second faculty director. One of his most important responsibilities as the MLK Institute’s new director is the ongoing work of editing King’s significant sermons, speeches, published writings, correspondence and unpublished papers.
Martin is the author of the award-winning Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion, which tracks the role of the phonograph in the shaping of African American religion, culture, and politics during the first half of the twentieth century. The book was the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize for outstanding scholarship in religious history by a first-time author from the American Society of Church History.
Having witnessed first-hand the Bureau’s engagement with faith communities during the protests in 2014 Ferguson, Missouri, Martin was inspired to write The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism, the shocking untold story of of the FBI partnered with white evangelicals to champion a vision of America as a white Christian nation. Scholars have long noted how Hoover’s FBI surveilled and antagonized clergy and faith communities, but the Bureau’s embrace and endorsement of faith are not well known. Drawing on thousands of declassified FBI documents, and interviews with retired special agents, Martin explains why white evangelicals rose in the halls of power, and shines a light on how the religious movement became a political force that has shaped our current politics.
In support of his research, Martin has received a number of nationally recognized fellowships and grants, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, The American Council of Learned Societies, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion, the Teagle Foundation and the Templeton Religion Trust (a $187,000 grant for the study of Harnessing Religious Values to Increase Public Virtue). Most recently he was named Co-Director of “The Crossroads Project” to advance public understanding of the history, politics, and cultures of African American religions, as part of a million dollar grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
Martin has also been recognized for his teaching, receiving grants and fellowships from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion and Washington University College of Arts and Sciences. The Teagle Foundation recognized him with a grant to implement “Citizenship and Freedom: From Plato to Maya,” an intensive three-week summer humanities seminar and school-year civic engagement program for promising, underserved high school students from the St. Louis region enrolled in the university’s College Prep Program. Martin has served as a research consultant for continuing education and recidivism at New York’s Sing Sing State Prison, as well as an instructor at Georgia’s Metro State Prison. He has been an instructor at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center with the WashU Prison Education Program.
Martin‘s lectures on the intersection of religion and politics in American life have been featured at national conferences, faith communities, as well as leading universities including Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Stanford, and Georgetown. He was previously the Director of American Culture Studies, Associate Professor of Religion and Politics in the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and Associate Professor of African & African American Studies at Washington University in Saint Louis. His commentary and writing have appeared in popular national media outlets including The Today Show (NBC), CNN, PBS, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and NPR.
Martin earned his B.A. from Anderson University and his Master of Divinity Degree from Princeton Theological Seminary before completing his Ph.D. at Emory University in 2011.
(sourced from: https://www.lyceumagency.com/speakers/dr-lerone-martin/)