Anthony B. Pinn received his BA from Columbia University, Master of Divinity and PhD in the study of religion from Harvard University. He is currently the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religion at Rice University. Pinn is the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) also at Rice University. The Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning uses curricular innovation and imaginative research agendas to enhance models of leadership within the urban context. As part of this process, the Center understands the importance of fostering resources and environments as models for leadership with respect to thought and action. It does so by creating opportunities for Rice students, faculty, Houston educators and community members to collaborate in a variety of ways: to grow new inter-institutional initiatives, to develop new pedagogies and research models, to nurture capacities and skills necessary for effective leadership in Houston that reflects the diversity of the city, and to build new networks that better living and learning environments that encourage impact on the local and national levels.
Pinn is the author/editor of numerous books, including The Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era (2002); Terror and Triumph: The Nature of Black Religion(2003), African American Humanist Principles (2004), Noise and Spirit: Rap Music’s Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities (2004), By These Hands: A Documentary History of African American Humanism (2001), Introducing African American Religion (2012), The End of God-Talk: An African American Humanist Theology (2012), and the novel, The New Disciples (2015). Pinn is active with numerous professional organizations, including service as a member of the American Academy of Religion’s Board of Directors; Executive Director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion; and co-founder of the Society of Race, Ethnicity and Religion. In addition, he is Director of Research for the Institute for Humanist Studies. Pinn is also involved with many community organizations, and has held leadership positions in a variety of them, including Meadville Lombard Theological School Board of Trustees (Executive Committee and Chair of the Education Team); Unitarian Universalist Panel on Theological Education; Board of Directors for the American Humanist Association; and the Rothko Chapel Board of Advisors.