Foster J. Pinkney
My dissertation is concerned with the theological and ethical reclamation of the term "dignity." I engage hermeneutical theory and Black theology to address the urgency of interpretation in the process of self-naming under the extremes of brutal humiliation. Dignity, in this sense, is a way of being which emerges from blackness itself–both as a state of being and as a response to existential terror. In my dissertation I use the "Negro Problem," as explored by Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois, to assert a new conception of dignity within the boundaries of a Black theological ethics.
My hope is that the Marty Center provides me with the space to explore my ability to communicate to other scholars who may not share my same theological and cultural commitments. The unique setting of the Marty Center allows me to engage critiques from an amazing group of scholars at similar stages of development. I also find that exposure to new methods and ways of thinking through complex issues helps to clarify some of the difficulties I encounter in my own work–community provides a rich atmosphere to grow as an academic and writer.