The Reverend Jermaine M. McDonald, PhD is a scholar-minister-public theologian ordained in the prophetic Black Baptist Church tradition. He earned his doctorate in religious studies (ethics and society) from Emory University in 2015, writing explicitly on how America collectively remembers Martin Luther King Jr. With expertise in Black religion in the United States, Christian social ethics, and the sociology of religion, Rev. McDonald builds off his own experience as a socially-engaged minister and public theologian to explore how groups bring their religious values to bear in public life and political discourse.
Dr. McDonald is also the founding editor of Symposium Ethics, an online forum for Christian ethicists from across traditions, methodologies, and areas of specialization to regularly discuss how their recent scholarship addresses matters of public concern. As part of this website, he co-hosts the Symposium Ethics podcast (available on iTunes).
Dr. McDonald is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled Martin Luther King Jr. in the American Public Imagination. This book, a revision of his doctoral dissertation, explores the ways competing factions in America connect their political ideologies to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. He reveals that although Dr. King is a near universal American hero, how he is celebrated and the values his legacy embodies differs depending on the ideology of the individual or group doing the celebrating.