Dr. Cain Hope Felder

Cain.jpg (67077 bytes)Dr. Cain Hope Felder is Professor of New Testament Language & Literature and Editor of The Journal of Religious Thought at the School of Divinity, Howard University. He has served on Howard's faculty since 1981, having come to Washington from Princeton Theological Seminary where he taught as a member of the Department of Biblical Studies (1978-81). Dr. Felder, an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, pastored Grace United Methodist Church in New York, NY (1975-77). From 1969-72, Felder worked as the first National Director of the United Methodist Black Caucus, then headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

Born in Aiken, SC, he was reared in Boston, MA where he attended the Boston Latin School. Professor Felder holds the following degrees: Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Classics, Howard University; Masters of Divinity, Union Theological Seminary; Diploma of Theology; Oxford University, England; Masters of Philosophy and Doctorate of Philosophy in Biblical Languages and Literature from Columbia University. He has reading knowledge of nine foreign languages.

His first book, Troubling Biblical Waters: Race, Class, and Family (Orbis Books, 1989), gained immediate "landmark" recognition as a "groundbreaking study." The 13th printing of this book was run in 1997. Stony the Road we Trod: African-American Biblical Interpretation (Fortress Press, 1991), for which Felder was editor, is now in its 7th printing. In 1992 Felder published The Season of Lent: Proclamation Commentary 5 (Fortress Press, 1995). His most recent works include: International Catholic Bible Commentary on the Epistle of James to be released in the autumn of 1998; and The Mercy of God in Luke-Acts to be published by Orbis Books in late 1997 or early 1998. Additionally, Felder has written numerous articles which have been published during the last three years.

The Association of Catholic Presses in its Religious Literary Competition awarded Dr. Felder's Troubling Biblical Waters second place honors in the Scripture Division. The volume has also been nominated for the Schomburg Prize for Excellence in Black History and Culture. Dr. Felder is also the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Award by the Progressive National Baptist Convention, its highest honor. It is also a unique distinction that the Library of Congress has translated Troubling Biblical Waters into Braille and has made available audio tapes for the visually impaired.

Such developments and general interest have served as a catalyst for a renewed interest in Biblical Interpretation in diverse quarters--the unchurched, half-way houses, local churches and in university settings. Dr. Felder appeared on the Phil Donahue Show (April 9, 1993) with Blair Underwood, Actor, who played the Black Christ in a movie entitled "The Second Coming". Cain Hope Felder has been prominently featured in many articles, newspapers, and magazines from coast-to-coast, namely, USA Today; The Washington Post; The Washington Times; EBONY; JET; EMERGE; The Atlanta Journal; The Chronicle of Higher Education; and The New York Times. Of noted mention was Felder's invitation to serve as consultant to Showtime Networks, Inc. for the premier film "Solomon of Sheba" in which, for the first time, television and film industry gave historical realism of the characters by selecting people of color to play the title roles.

Dr. Felder is the founder of the Biblical Institute for Social Change (BISC), Washington, DC, organized in the Spring of 1990. BISC has been dedicated to inform, inspire, affirm, and transform the Christian community through scholarship and research, and extends Felder's work and the work of others into the hands of all God's people with local chapters established in several cities including Detroit, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and New York.