Anthony Pinn


Anthony B. Pinn received his BA from Columbia University, Master of Divinity and PhD in the study of religion from Harvard University. He is currently the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religion at Rice University. Pinn is the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) also at Rice University. Pinn’s research interests include religion and culture; humanism; and hip hop culture. He is the author/editor of over 35 books, including The Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era (2002); Terror and Triumph: The Nature of Black Religion (2003), Noise and Spirit: Rap Music’s Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities (2004), and the novel, The New Disciples (2015). Pinn is also director of research for the Institute for Humanist Studies, a Washington DC-based think tank.

RELI 157/311 Religion and Hip Hop Culture
RELI 158/548 Introduction to Liberation Theologies
RELI 270 Introduction to the Black Church in the United States
RELI 312/546 The Religious Thought of Martin L. King, Jr. and Malcolm X (Seminar)
RELI 357/547 What’s Religious About Black Religion? (Seminar)
RELI 368/568 Rise of the Nones: Humanisms and Humanities
RELI 369/606 Reading Richard Wright: Theism and Antitheism in the Writings of Richard Wright (Seminar)
RELI 490/590 African American Literature and Religion (Seminar)

Professional Service:
Director of Research, Institute for Humanist Studies
Associate Editor, JAAR
Board of Consultants, Journal of Religion (2014-2018).
Advisory Board, Religion Dispatches.
Editorial Board, Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion.
Consulting Editor, Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism
Editorial Board, Journal of Africana Religions


  • Monica Miller and Anthony B. Pinn, editors. Routledge Studies in Religion and Hip Hop,Routledge.
  • Monica Miller and Anthony B. Pinn, editors. Religion and Race, Lexington Books. New series.
  • Anthony B. Pinn, Pitchstone Humanism and Its Challenges Series, Pitchstone Publishing.
  • Stacey Floyd-Thomas and Anthony B. Pinn, Religion and Social Transformation, New York University Press.
  • Anthony B. Pinn and Juergen Manemann, (for the Institute for Humanist Studies), Studies in Humanism and Atheism, Palgrave Macmillan.


  • Humanism: Essays in Race, Religion, and Cultural Production, Bloomsbury Academic (2015).
  • Introducing African American Religion, Routledge (2013).
  • The End of God-Talk: An African American Humanist Theology, Oxford University Press (2012).
  • Embodiment and the New Shape of Black Theological Thought , New York University Press (2010).
  • Understanding and Transforming the Black Church, Cascade Books (2010).
  • The African American Religious Experience in America, Greenwood Press (2005) by University Press of Florida (2007).
  • African American Humanist Principles: Living and Thinking Like the Children of Nimrod, Palgrave Macmillan (2004).
  • Terror and Triumph: The Nature of Black Religion, Fortress Press (2003).
  • The Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era, Orbis Books (2002, 2nd Printing May 2003, 3rd Printing May 2004, 4th Printing May 2008, 5th Printing March 2009).
  • Varieties of African American Religious Experience, Fortress Press (1998). Expanded, 20th Anniversary Edition, to be published in 2018 (submitted).
  • Why, Lord?: Suffering and Evil in Black Theology, Continuum Hardcover (1995), Cassell Paperback (1999). Chinese Edition/ The Institute of Sino-Christian Studies (Hong Kong), 2006.


  • The CERCL Writing Collective (Anthony Pinn, et al), Religion and Embodiment (Equinox), forthcoming.
  • The CERCL Writing Collective (Anthony Pinn et al), Breaking Bread, Breaking Beats: Churches and Hip Hop – A Basic Guide to Key Issues, Fortress Press (2014).
  • Coauthor Anne H. Pinn, Fortress Introduction to Black Church History, Fortress Press (2001).


  • What Has the Black Church to Do With Public Life? PIVOT series, Palgrave Macmillan (2013).
  • What is African American Religion? [Version of Terror and Triumph] (Fortress Press, 2011).
  • Becoming ‘America’s Problem Child’: An Outline of Pauli Murray’s Religious Life and Theology, Wipf & Stock Publishers/PickWick Publications (2008).


  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. Humanism and Technology, Palgrave Macmillan (2016).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. Just Religion, Volume 4 in Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Religion, Macmillan Reference (2016).
  • Monica Miller, Anthony Pinn, Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, editors. Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the US, Bloomsbury Publishing (2015).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. Theism and Public Policy. Palgrave Macmillan (2014).
  • Dale McGowan and Anthony B. Pinn, editors. Everyday Humanism, Equinox (2014).
  • Monica Miller and Anthony Pinn, editors. The Hip Hop and Religion Reader, Routledge (2014).
  • Katie G. Cannon and Anthony B. Pinn, editors. The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology, Oxford University Press (2014). [*BCALA Honor Book for 2015]
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor, What Is Humanism, and Why Does It Matter? Acumen (2013).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, C. Levander and M. Emerson editors, Teaching and Studying the Americas, Palgrave Macmillan (2010).
  • Stacey Floyd-Thomas and Anthony B. Pinn, editors, Liberation Theologies in the United States: An Introduction, New York University Press (2010).
  • Anthony B. Pinn and Benjamin Valentin, editors, Creating Ourselves: African Americans and Latino/as, Popular Culture, and Religious Expression, Duke University Press (2009).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. Black Religion and Aesthetics, Palgrave Macmillan (2009).
  • Anthony B. Pinn and Allen D. Callahan, editors. African American Religious Life and the Story of Nimrod, Palgrave Macmillan (2007).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. Pauli Murray: Sermons and Writings, Orbis Books (2006).
  • Anthony B. Pinn and Dwight N. Hopkins, editors. Loving the Body: Black Religious Studies and the Erotic, Palgrave Macmillan (2004; Paper, 2006).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. Noise and Spirit: Rap Music’s Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities, New York University Press (2004).
  • Rebecca Moore, Anthony B. Pinn, and Mary R. Sawyer, editors. Peoples Temple and Black Religion in America, Indiana University Press (2004).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. Moral Evil and Redemptive Suffering: A History of Theodicy in African American Religious Thought. The University Press of Florida, (2002).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. By These Hands: A Documentary History of African American Humanism, New York University Press, (2001).
  • Anthony B. Pinn and Benjamin Valentin, editors. The Ties That Bind: African-American and Hispanic-American/Latino Theologies in Dialogue, Continuum Publishing, (2001).
  • Stephen Angell and Anthony B. Pinn, editors. Protest Thought in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1862-1939, Vol. 1, University of Tennessee Press, (2000).
  • Anthony B. Pinn, editor. Making the Gospel Plain: The Writings of Bishop Reverdy C. Ransom, Trinity Press International, (1999).


  • When Colorblindness Isn’t Enough: Humanism and the Challenge of Race, Pitchstone Publishing (2017).
  • The Two Disciples: A Novel, Pitchstone Publishing (2015).
  • Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist, Prometheus Books (2014).
  • Anthony B. Pinn and Gregory Colleton, editors, Life Sentences: Short Stories, Wipf & Stock Publishers (2007). Includes: “Faithful Afflictions,” by Anthony Pinn, 45-57.


Research Areas

Liberation theologies, Religion and Popular culture (e.g., hip hop), Humanism, Constructive theology, African American religious traditions, African American religious thought


PhD, Harvard University

Master of Divinity, Harvard University

B.A., Columbia University

Honors & Awards

Rice University Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Service (2018)

Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association Humanist of the Year (2017)

Rice University Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Service (2018)

Doctor of Humane Letters, Meadville Lombard Theological School (May 2016)

Yale Center for Faith and Culture “Theology of Joy and the Good Life” grant (2017)

Harvard University Humanist Chaplaincy “Humanist of the Year” 2006

African American Humanist Award, Council for Secular Humanism, 1999


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