Historian Earl Lewis Envisions a World of Justice and Grace

Brian Purnell SAVE THIS

Courtesy of Earl Lewis, University of Michigan

Earl Lewis is a scholar, teacher, and humanist concerned with building communities, and a larger world, that operate on robust grace. He previously led a philanthropic organization whose approaches to education, research, and justice aimed to alter the systems that compound human suffering through compassionate care for individuals and communities; promoting research that combines scientific and humanities approaches because to separate advanced research into disconnected silos is an untenable way to make positive, lasting social change; and seeing human beings as assets worthy of investment, forgiveness, and love.  

At the recent commencement exercises for Bowdoin College, where I teach, Lewis distilled that call into a baccalaureate address about grace. He told a story about his undergraduate alma mater, in which a student’s nasty, racist screed (which years earlier someone else had recorded and posted to social media) came back to…

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