On Nov 7th Pacific School of Religion (PSR) professor Rev. Dr. Dorsey Odell Blake will gave the 48th annual Graduate Theological Union‘s (GTU) Distinguished Faculty Lecture. Blake was named the 2023 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer by the GTU’s Council of Deans for embodying the scholarly standards, teaching excellence, and commitment to ecumenism that defines the consortium of schools — the most comprehensive center for the graduate study of religion in North America.
Blake’s lecture, ” Howard Thurman: Seeking, Queering and Transcending,” explored how Thurman’s lifelong identity as a “seeker” showed up in his life and work.
Blake met Thurman, the groundbreaking author, philosopher, theologian, mystic, educator and civil rights leader, while a student at Pacific School of Religion in the late 1960s. From 1977-78 Blake served as program director of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust, and in 1994 Blake was installed as Presiding Minister of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, which Thurman co-founded in 1944.
“Dr. Thurman transcended dogmas, creeds, and adjectival church descriptions. He was a precursor of the Civil Rights Movement and a unique embodiment of it. Forever on the ‘search for common ground’ and the sound of the genuine within himself, his legacy is a compelling one with profound stirrings for us today,” said Blake of his mentor.
In addition to serving PSR as a Faculty Associate for Leadership and Social Transformation and his work with the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, Blake also serves as a member of the coordinating committee for the National Council of Elders and is a member of the faculty for the Dale P. Andrews Freedom Seminary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute of the Children’s Defense Fund. In his long career he has taught at many schools, been the recipient of numerous community service awards, and has extensive field ministry experience with interfaith groups addressing justice and peace issues.