Revolution and religion would appear to be incompatible, but when discussed—and mildly debated—by Bob Avakian, chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and Dr. Cornel West, professor of philosophy and Christian practice at the Union Theological Seminary in New York, the concepts and the speakers find common ground.
No, this is not a return engagement of the two intellectuals, but the New York film premiere and online launch of their dialogue, “The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion,” that occurred last November at Riverside Church before a packed audience.
Those who missed that occasion or who long to see the exchange again will get that opportunity Saturday, March 28, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The online launch begins at 10 p.m. and can be accessed at www.revcom.us.
It was a spirited discussion, with West and Avakian voicing their perspectives on change and how it can evolve from a political praxis or from the exigencies of the Black Christian prophetic tradition. For more than four hours, the two explored each other’s philosophical terrain, often shifting the narrative, with Avakian expounding on Scripture and West examining the basic tenets of Marx and Lenin.
Both interlace their critical thinking with elements of humor and contemporary issues, none more relevant than the wave of police brutality that has taken the lives of a countless number of young African-American and Latino youths.
If the turnout is anything like the live event last year, we recommend you get there early because the capacity at the Schomburg is not as large as that at Riverside.
For tickets and more information, contact Revolution Books, located at 146 W. 26th St., by calling 212-691-3345 or visiting www.revolutionbooksnyc.org.
Admission is $25 or $10 for low-income entry. One can purchase a premium ticket for $100.