Reverend Jesse Jackson: A Theological Journey

“An icon of the civil rights movement, the American church, and American humanitarianism, Rev. Jesse Jackson’s enduring legacy of service begs to be captured, reflected upon, and understood within the framework of his guiding theology and unrepressed spirit. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Grace Ji-Sun Kim Earlham School of Religion Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

This project will examine Rev. Jesse Jackson's theology and how it informs his civil rights work. While some biographies exist of Rev. Jackson (such as Freddy Marshall and Dorothy Chaplik), none examine his theological beliefs. This project will study, investigate and critique his theological understanding so that we can better understand Black churches in America and how multi-ethnic churches will help the church grow today. Rev. Jackson’s effect on the American church cannot be left unanalyzed. His breadth reaches far past the black community and the Christian community, as his work extends to diverse intersecting fields of race, social culture and politics.

The Louisville Grant will provide the time and space to finish this project which began seven years ago. The project will involve interviews, research, and critical analysis to provide an in-depth understanding of Rev. Jackson’s life, spirituality and legacy. It will result in a book which will deepen Rev. Jackson’s impact on communities, faith understanding and ongoing civil rights work by providing an abiding accounting of Rev. Jackson’s theology and how it has informed the evolution of the American church and its connection to social justice.