Lifestyles of the (Not So) Rich and Religious: Theological Prosperity in an Age of Economic Inequality
Social ethicist and scholar of American religions Jonathan L. Walton is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard University and Pusey Minister in Harvard’s Memorial Church. He is also a professor of religion and society on the faculty of divinity.
Professor Walton’s research addresses the intersections of religion, politics and media culture. He has published widely in scholarly journals such as Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation and Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. His book, Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism (2009), disrupts commonly held assumptions that associate evangelical broadcasting with white, conservative evangelical communities, while illumining the ways televangelists’ professed aims are frustrated by their hyper-mediated methods.
Walton’s work and insights have been featured in national and international news outlets including the New York Times, CNN and the BBC. He is also the “resident ethicist” on the Tavis Smiley radio show.
Currently, Walton is working on a book-length study of famed televangelist Carlton Pearson tentatively titled Pentecostalism Made Pretty. The book explores questions of power, privilege and race in the context of late 20th and early 21st century neo-Pentecostalism. He is also completing a volume on African-American religious history with Eddie S. Glaude (Princeton University) titled American Religion In Black and Blue.
Walton earned his doctoral and master of divinity degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. A native of Atlanta, Walton graduated from Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He was an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of California, Riverside prior to joining the faculty of Harvard Divinity School.