Dr. Tamisha Tyler will join the faculty of Bethany Theological Seminary as a Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.
Dr. Tyler earned a PhD in Theology and Culture from Fuller Seminary this year. She earned an MDiv from Fuller in 2014 and a BA in Black Studies from California State University, Long Beach in 2006. Tyler is currently co-director of the Kinship Commons in Durham, NC, and she was previously co-executive director of ARC: Art, Religion, Culture in New York City. She has taught at both Fuller and the Grunewald Guild.
Her scholarship explores intersections between faith and art, and her publications and presentations include explorations of such topics as theopoetics, the role of artists as revolutionaries, communal lament and Black Lives Matter, Lauren Oya Olamina, and Beyonce. She is a published poet and was host of the podcast “Why We’re Friends.” She has worked with such arts organizations as Level Ground and the New Story Festival.
Dr. Tyler’s dissertation focuses on the work of Octavia Butler. Fellowships from Forum for Theological Exploration, Louisville Institute, Luther Seminary, and Fuller have supported her work.
On her website, Dr. Tyler describes herself as “a theologian, an artist, and a lover of people.” She elaborates, “I want others to know that no matter what I do, loving people will always be at the center of it. Most folk can just respond by saying ‘duh!’ but I use it as a way to remind myself of who I’m doing this work for. I’m doing it for people. For my parents and siblings and family, for young women of color navigating spaces that weren’t built for them, and for those who want to make the world beautiful and just. That’s who I’m doing this for.”
Bethany Dean Steve Schweitzer says, “I am excited to welcome Dr. Tamisha Tyler as our first Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. Her educational background has focused on Theology, Culture, and the Arts, especially on theopoetic methods and theological themes in writings by the African American science fiction writer Octavia Butler. Dr. Tyler will bring both breadth and depth to our course offerings.”
Over the next two years, Dr. Tyler will offer courses focused on religion in Butler’s novels, Afrofuturism, Methods of Theopoetics, and an intensive travel course focused on a range of social and theological issues centered in Los Angeles.
“As Bethany’s educational programs expand and our student body continues to become more diverse, Dr. Tyler will contribute a unique and important perspective both in the classroom and in the life of the seminary,” Schweitzer adds.