Contact Dr. Johnson

Andre E. Johnson, PhD is an expert in rhetoric and examines how people use language to construct public perceptions and ideas about race, religion, and politics. His critically acclaimed book, The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition is a study of the prophetic rhetoric of 19th century African Methodist Episcopal Church bishop Henry McNeal Turner. By locating Turner within the African American prophetic tradition, Johnson examines how Bishop Turner adopted a prophetic persona. 

Dr. Johnson is also the editor of the Literary Archive of Henry McNeal Turner. He argues that one of the reasons why we have not fully examined the life and career of Henry McNeal Turner is because there had not been a collection of his writings. Dr. Johnson’s goal is to collect writings from Turner and to make them public. He has already published two volumes. The first focuses on his life as a pastor in Baltimore and Washington DC and the second focuses on Turner's writings while he served as chaplain of the Union Army from 1863-1865. He will publish the third of this 12 volume series in 2013. Ongoing research projects explore the nexus between rhetoric, theology and the Bible, urban ministry and theology, religion and politics, the religious rhetoric of Barack Obama, and religion and media. 

In addition to his groundbreaking work on Turner, Dr. Johnson is also the founder and editor of the popular blog, Rhetoric Race and Religion. The blog examines the intersections of rhetoric race and religion and through it contributors, offers nuance and critical understanding of how faith operates within the public arena. He also serves as Senior Pastor of Gifts of Life Ministries in Memphis, Tennessee.

Johnson’s academic writing has appeared in the Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric, Black Theology Journal, and the Memphis theological Seminary Journal. In addition to writing for Rhetoric Race and Religion, Dr. Johnson has also written for the Religious, Political Theology Blog, New Black Man, US Religion blog, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal Faith Matters blog.

Professor Johnson earned his BS in Communication, M.Div from Memphis Theological Seminary, and his PhD in Communications from the University of Memphis under the direction of Michael C. Leff.  He is currently the chair of the Christianity and Culture department and serves as the James L. Netters Professor of Rhetoric & Religion and African American Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary.

To contact Dr. Johnson for interviews or speaking engagements, call 901-458-8232 or by email at You can also follow him on twitter @aejohnsonphd or Facebook