Todne Thomas

Todne Thomas

Assistant Professor of African American Religions (HDS)
Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study)
Todne Thomas

Research and Teaching Interests

The familial and spiritual experiences of black evangelicals and the neoliberal displacement of black sacred space.

Todne Thomas, PhD, is a socio-cultural anthropologist and Assistant Professor of African American Religions at Harvard Divinity School. In collaboration with Afro-Caribbean and African American congregants, Thomas conducts ethnographic research on the racial, spatial, and familial dynamics of black Christian communities in the U.S. Conceptually, her work integrates critical race and kinship theories to understand the racial and moral scripts of evangelicalism and neoliberalism.

She has authored peer-reviewed articles for the Journal of Africana Religions, Anthropology and Humanism, and the Journal of African American Studies. She has also co-edited New Directions in Spiritual Kinship: Sacred Ties across the Abrahamic Religions (2017) with Asiya Malik and Rose Wellman. Her latest book, Kincraft: The Making of Black Evangelical Sociality (2021), explores the internal dynamics of community life among black evangelicals, who are often overshadowed by white evangelicals and the common equation of the “Black Church” with an Afro-Protestant mainline. Drawing on fieldwork in an Afro-Caribbean and African American church association in Atlanta, Thomas locates black evangelicals at the center of their own religious story, presenting their determined spiritual relatedness as a form of insurgency. 

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