Monday, February 20, 2023

Dean Powery's 'Becoming Human' Wins 'Book of the Year' Award

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The Academy of Parish Clergy (APC) has selected Becoming Human: The Holy Spirit and the Rhetoric of Race by Duke Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery as its 2023 Book of the Year.

An organization for professional religious leaders that promotes excellence in ministry, APC said it chose Becoming Human for the award because it "is a deeply thoughtful book that invites us to look at pneumatology as a hope-filled way forward: the Pentecost Spirit can move us beyond our dehumanizing history and into a future where we can all become more fully human."

"The care and love and gentleness with which Powery writes leaps off the pages and straight to the heart," the group said in a statement. "We believe this book by Luke Powery will benefit all clergy who pick it up and read it carefully and closely."

Watch the presentation of the award at the recent APC conference:

In Becoming Human, Dean Powery contrasts a view of humanity that sees race as essential and valuing some bodies over others with a theological understanding of humanity, shaped by the biblical account of Pentecost, that sees the diversity of human bodies as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Published by Westminster John Knox Press, the book gets its title from a 1968 remembrance for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. given by the theologian Dr. Howard Thurman. “[Dr. King] was killed in one sense because [hu]mankind is not quite human yet,” Dr. Thurman said. “May he live because all of us in America are closer to becoming human than ever before.”

Dean Powery will discuss the book with fellow scholars in an online conversation on Tuesday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m.