Corey D. B. Walker is an ordained American Baptist clergyperson and scholar of African American social, political, and religious thought. He preaches and teaches in congregations and universities across the nation and has published broadly on African American religion and philosophy, African American history and culture, and religion and American public life. As a public intellectual, Walker speaks from the position of a faithful scholar activist committed to a broad vision of human flourishing and planetary possibility.
Walker currently serves as Vice President of Virginia Union University and the 10th Dean of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University where he is also Professor of Religion and Society. Prior to his appointment at Virginia Union University, Walker was founding Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education and inaugural John W. and Anna Hodgin Hanes Professor of the Humanities at Winston-Salem State University. Previously, Walker served as chair of the department of Africana Studies at Brown University where he was also a tenured professor. At Brown, he was also a faculty affiliate in the department of American Studies, department of Religious Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and Committee on Science and Technology Studies.
Walker also served as a faculty member in theology, ethics, and culture in the department of Religious Studies and in African American studies in the Carter G. Woodson Institute of African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. He was the inaugural director of the Center for the Study of Local Knowledge established by the Carter G. Woodson Institute, with support from the Ford Foundation, as the only research center in the country dedicated to new and innovative research related to the concept of local knowledge. Walker also served as a visiting professor at the Historisches Institut at Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena in Germany where he delivered the Johann Gustav Droysen Lecture.
Walker is the author of A Noble Fight: African American Freemasonry and the Struggle for Democracy in America (University of Illinois Press), editor of the special issue of the journal Political Theology on “Theology and Democratic Futures,” and associate editor of the award-winning SAGE Encyclopedia of Identity. He has published over fifty articles, essays, book chapters, and reviews appearing in a wide range of scholarly journals and co-directed and co-produced the documentary film fifeville with acclaimed artist and filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson. Walker has also served as Book Review Editor and Associate Editor of The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, generally considered the top academic journal in the field. Currently, Walker is finalizing his next book exploring race, religion, and American public life entitled Between Transcendence and History: An Essay on Religion and the Future of Democracy in America.
Walker is a graduate of Norfolk State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in finance. After a career in the financial services industry, he went on to earn his master of divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University, master of theological studies degree from Harvard University, and doctor of philosophy degree in American studies from The College of William and Mary. He also holds the master of arts degree, ad eundem, from Brown University.
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