- Foreign Study
- News & Events
Back to Top Nav
Back to Top Nav
Vaughn Booker, Assistant Professor of AAAS and Religion, has a recent article published in the Journal of Africana Religions, "Pulpit and Pew: African American Humor on Irreverent Religious Participation in John H. Johnson's Negro Digest, 1943–1950." Booker's work examines religious humor in the "Pulpit and Pew" series of the mid-century monthly magazine Negro Digest. By entertaining the recurring link in African American Protestant traditions between religion and irreverence, this study of "Pulpit and Pew" examines the mode of religious affiliation Booker characterizes as irreverent religious participation. This literary humor provided relatable scenes and scenarios in Afro-Protestant life as the source materials for humor about African American religious thought and practice. With the "Pulpit and Pew" series of compiled jokes, irreverent religious humor reflected the reality of African American social practices and, in turn, provided levity that lessened the association of an ostensibly pious individual's religious devotion with an irreproachable moral status. "Pulpit and Pew" demonstrates that many African Americans with religious commitments have appreciated irreverent religious humor that may register as anti-religious without necessarily rejecting all things associated with religious fidelity.
This article is available at: https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/41664
Professor Booker has also recently contributed to The Immanent Frame, the interdisciplinary forum of the Social Science Research Council. Please see his piece here: https://tif.ssrc.org/2019/12/20/performance-booker/.