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Westmont Professor to Explore the Legacy of MLK

The Jan. 19 lecture is free and open to the public

Chandra Mallampalli, associate professor of history at Westmont College, will discuss how Martin Luther King Jr.’s powerful vision of racial justice draws from the past while orienting us to the future.

Chandra Mallampalli
Chandra Mallampalli

His lecture, “Civil Disobedience and the Legacy of MLK,” will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Darling Foundation Lecture Hall of Westmont’s Winter Hall (Room 210). The talk is co-sponsored by Westmont’s Intercultural Programs and the Westmont History Department. The event is free and open to the public.

“King shared with Gandhi a belief in a moral universe,” Mallampalli said. “That universe backs those who do what is right, even when they face a more powerful enemy and must suffer for their convictions. King also shared a common set of theological tools with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, drawing upon his Christian faith to resist racist policies in America.”

After earning a master of divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, Mallampalli lived in India for a year reporting on the persecution of Christians there and writing about religious freedom. He became intrigued with Indian history and decided to return to school, earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in South Asian history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught at Westmont for nine years.

“King’s legacy continues to offer me glimpses of God’s kingdom breaking into human history to redeem our broken relationships,” Mallampalli said. “He presents a powerful vision of the eschaton, when our fallen ways of relating to other races and ethnicities will be redeemed through God’s love.

Mallampalli received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct research in India and the United Kingdom for his new book, Race, Religion and Law in Colonial India.

For more information, call Elena Yee, director of intercultural programs, at 805.565.6132.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

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