Black Battle, White Knight

The Authorized Biography of Malcolm Boyd

Michael Battle

Jun/2011, 256 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781596272477



A fascinating profile of one of the most colorful, controversial and celebrated religious figures of our time, Malcolm Boyd—best-selling author, civil rights activist, gay cleric, and spiritual director.

Through unparalleled access to the personal recollections, writings, and archival records of Malcolm Boyd, Michael Battle provides profound insight into one of America’s most celebrated—and reviled—public religious figures. In the dialogue between Battle, a younger, black heterosexual Christian, the reader comes to view this older, white, gay Christian’s life of activism and ministry with a fresh perspective.

Michael Battle has taught at General Theological Seminary in New York where he was the Herbert Thompson Professor of Church and Society and Director of the Desmond Tutu Center. He holds an undergraduate degree from Duke University, received his MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary, an MST from Yale University and a PhD in theology and ethics, also from Duke University. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1993. In 2010, Battle was given one of the highest Anglican Church distinctions as “Six Preacher,” by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Battle’s academic experience includes service as interim dean of Students and Community Life at Episcopal Divinity School, dean for academic affairs, vice president and associate professor of theology at Virginia Theology Seminary; as associate professor of spirituality and black church studies, at Duke University’s Divinity School; and as assistant professor of spiritual and moral theology in the School of Theology at the University of the South. He has served as chaplain to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Congressman John Lewis, the House of Bishops in the Episcopal Church, and to the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops. Battle has published nine books, including Reconciliation: the Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu, and Ubuntu: I in You and You in Me. He lives in Knightdale, North Carolina.

"It is the overarching scope of your life, the depth of your experience, the centering spirit within and the translation of those inner murmurings into concrete acts of justice and love that leave me nearly breathless. How long have we known each other? Of course I knew the outlines of your ongoing and remarkable life and witness. I experienced your friendship and benefited from your wise counsel. We broke bread. I knew of your courage and integrity manifested in so many stages. Still, I am at once both happy to see more deeply into your life now even as I am appalled and not a little saddened by my own dank ignorance now uprooted by the biography. So, may I say, 'Hello, Malcolm. It is very good to meet you in the light of day.' Very good, indeed."—Larry B. Stammer, thirty-year Los Angeles Times journalist

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