Brad Braxton, the Joseph R. Daniel Jefferson Scholar, was recently named director of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life and the supervisory curator of religion at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. As director and curator, Brad will lead the Center in its efforts to promote innovative scholarship, produce public programs, and collect artifacts relating to diverse African American religious practices and beliefs.
Brad comes to the Smithsonian as an accomplished scholar in his field. After graduating from U.Va. in 1991 with a degree in religious studies, Brad earned a Masters in theology as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He continued his studies at Emory University, where he received a Ph.D. in New Testament studies.
An ordained Baptist minister and a respected voice among today’s progressive religious leaders, Brad has preached at Westminster Abbey in London, England, as well as at churches in Canada, Ghana, and South Africa. In 2011, he founded The Open Church of Maryland, a culturally diverse congregation committed to social justice activism and interfaith collaboration.
Read more about Brad’s background and his work at the Smithsonian here.