Deemed radical by his critics and dynamic by admirers, Professor Cornel West, whose work melds socialism and Christianity, is leaving Princeton University for New York’s Union Seminary, once one of America’s most prestigious seminaries.
Union’s former illustrious teachers include Reinhold Neibuhr and Harry Emerson Fosdick. Famed anti-Nazi pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was once a student at the school, though critical of its liberal theology even in the 1930s. Union adopted liberal theology over 100 years ago.
A regular at the Occupy Wall Street protests, Cornel West believes he can’t be true to his calling as a teacher and a scholar if his career is limited to classrooms, publishing houses or the traditional academic lecture circuit.
”People want to put you in boxes,” West said. ”But I don’t like to be classified in that narrow way. My calling, in the end, is much deeper than any link to any institution. There is no way that I can confine myself simply to the academy.”