The Reverend Dr. James Alexander Forbes Jr. will give a lecture at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), in New York City on January 19, 2011. The lecture is entitled “Preaching the Gospel of Martin Luther King Jr.,” and is being presented under the auspices of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is free; however, reservations are required.
Dr. King became a great friend of JTS through Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who was a professor of Jewish Ethics and Mysticism at The Rabbinical School of JTS. In 1964, Dr. King accepted an honorary doctorate from JTS. In 1965, Rabbi Heschel marched with King and other civil rights leaders for voter registration rights for African-Americans in Selma, Alabama. And in 1968, two weeks before his assassination, Dr. King attended a Rabbinical Assembly convention.
Dr. Forbes, senior minister emeritus of Riverside Church in New York City and president of the Healing of the Nations Foundation, is the ideal person to speak about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Forbes, who retired as senior minister of Riverside in 2007, was the first African American to serve in that position at the renowned multicultural congregation. Before being called to Riverside’s pulpit in 1989, Dr. Forbes served from 1976 to 1985 as a professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. Forbes is also on the Core Teaching Staff at Auburn Theological Seminary. He has earned 3 degrees and has been awarded 13 honorary degrees. Since 1992, he has been co-chair of A Partnership of Faith, an interfaith organization of clergy among New York’s Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim communities. He is a consultant to the Congress of National Black Churches and past president of the Martin Luther King Fellows.
Since 1938, the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary has maintained an innovative interfaith and intergroup relations program that emphasizes conversation among diverse communities. The program’s ability to unite voices from different academic, social, and religious constituencies has resulted in singular conferences and interfaith cooperation and brought the relevance of Judaism and other religions to prominence on a myriad of issues.
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