Skip to main content

Jonathan Chism

Photograph of Jonathan Chism

Jonathan Chism

Assistant Professor of History

Office: N1060
713-221-8421
chismj@uhd.edu

​Jonathan Chism is a religious scholar who specializes in African American Religious History.  His research explores the intersection between religion, race, and politics and seeks to enhance understanding of diverse ways African American religious groups and figures have pursued social justice and transformation in the twentieth century. His dissertation provides a critical history of Church of God in Christ (COGIC) members' engagements in the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee and dispels some scholars' assumption that black Pentecostals' religious beliefs prohibited them from being involved in the Movement.  Besides preparing the dissertation for publication, he is interested in continuing to do descriptive work and to use historical, sociological, and theological methods to examine how African American religious groups have endeavored to address post-Civil Rights social concerns such as the "mass incarceration" of blacks and other ethnic minorities in Penal Institutions in the United States.

B.A. Rice University

M.Div. Southern Methodist University

M.A. Rice University

Ph.D. Rice University

  • ​United States History to 1877
  • United States History after 1877
  • The History of the New South From 1865
  • The History of the Civil Rights Movement
  • History of Religion in the United States
  • African American History
  • History of Race and Sports

Summary of Qualifications:

Dr. Chism has a PHD in Religious Studies (specifically African American religious history).  His dissertation involved the description and analysis of African American Pentecostals’ contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dr. Chism completed several hours of graduate coursework in history in the History Department at Rice University, including: “Southern History;” “The Origins of Afro America;” “The History of Human Rights;” “Post-1945 US History,” and “Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.”  While studying at Rice, Chism also completed comprehensive qualifying exams in African American Religion and African American Religious History from the antebellum period to the present.  Dr. Chism demonstrated proficiency in topics such as transatlantic slavery, the Great Migration, race and religious diversity, civil rights, black power, and hip hop culture.  In his introductory-level course, US History to 1877 course, Dr. Chism provides a basic survey of the United States from colonial origins through independence, the establishment of the Republic, territorial expansion, Civil War, and Reconstruction.  These topics are covered in more detail in a plethora of upper-level courses available to History majors.  Dr. Chism teaches upper-level courses related to his graduate training and dissertation research such as “History of the New South After 1865” and “The History of the Civil Rights Movement.” 

Graduate Coursework:

Graduate course work includes 9 hours in HIST and REL courses related to history: Reformation to the present, history of black religion, MLK and Malcolm X, etc. 

HIST 583: Southern History

HIST 539: Origins of Afro America

HIST 568: Post-1945 U.S. History

RELI 520: Reformation to the Present

RELI 545: The Study of Black Religion

RELI 546: MLK and Malcolm X Teaching Experience:

2014-present Lecturer United States History, UHD

2012-2013-Adjunct, Lone Star College

2011, Graduate Teacher’s Assistant, Rice University

Academic Scholarship/Research/Creative Endeavors:

Breaking Bread, Breaking Beats, co-authored with Anthony Pinn, Christopher Driscoll, Paul Easterling, Biko Gray, Darrius Hills, Jason Jeffries, Terri Laws, Aundrea Matthews, and Margarita Simon Guillory.  (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014).

“‘The Saints Go Marching’: Black Pentecostal Critical Consciousness and the Political Protest Activism of Pastors and Leaders in the Church of God in Christ in the Civil Rights Era.” In Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies.  Edited by Amos Yong and Dale Coulter.  Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. 35 (2013): 1-20.

“March Against Fear.” In Encyclopedia of the Black Power Movement.  Edited by Andrea Field and Matthew C. Whitaker.  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. (Forthcoming).

“Meredith, James.” In Encyclopedia of the Black Power Movement.  Edited by Andrea Field and Matthew C. Whitaker.  ABC-CLIO. (Forthcoming).

PUBLICATIONS​

Breaking Bread, Breaking Beats, co-authored with Anthony Pinn, Christopher Driscoll, Paul Easterling, Biko Gray, Darrius Hills, Jason Jeffries, Terri Laws, Aundrea Matthews, and Margarita Simon Guillory.  (Minneapolis: Fortress Press), forthcoming.

 

"'The Saints Go Marching': Black Pentecostal Critical Consciousness and the Political Protest Activism of Pastors and Leaders in the Church of God in Christ in the Civil Rights Era." In Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies.  Edited by Amos Yong and Dale Coulter.  Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. 35 (2013): 1-20.

 

"Interpreting the Influence of Spirit Baptism on Social Justice:  Implications of Paul Ricouer's Hermeneutics of Suspicion and Trust for the Analysis of Pentecostal Activism," Society for Pentecostal Studies, Springfield, MO, March 2014.

 

"African American Pentecostalism and the Body," University of Kent, London, England, October 2013.

 

 "Martin Luther King Jr., Critical Consciousness, and Radical Political Activism among Black Pastors and Leaders in the Church of God in Christ in the Post-Civil Rights Period," American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, GA, October 2010.

Awards

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Citizen of the Year Award, 2014

Rice University Humanities Research Center Conference Travel Award, 2013

COGIC Charities Scholarship Award, 2013

Ithiel C. Clemmons Student Travel Award, Society for Pentecostal Studies Committee

on Diversity, March 2011

Rice University, Department of Religious Studies Travel/Research Grant, 2010

National Scholars Honors Society, 2009                           

Fund for Theological Education (FTE) Doctoral Fellowship, 2008-2010

Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2008

Southern Methodist University Challis Book Press Award, 2006

Ed. E. and Gladys Hurley Foundation Scholarship, 2004

Last updated 6/26/2019 4:55 AM