Joshua L. Lazard is a writer, minister and public intellectual, who offers engaging social and theological commentary that provides a provocative cultural critical awareness. This allows him the opportunity to preach and teach in numerous educational and ecclesiastical spaces.
A Chicago South Side native, Joshua is a graduate of Fisk University with a B.S. in Accounting after attending Dillard University in New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina. He went on to graduate from the Johnson C. Smith Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Church Music with a thesis entitled “The Effectiveness of Music and the Role of Preaching in the Black Church.”
While in seminary, he discovered his penchant and love for writing and launched his blog in 2007 as an armchair cultural critic. When social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram emerged, he operated under the well-known moniker The Uppity Negro as he is still known in social media networks. Through his blog and other online social networks, Joshua engages conversations around modern-day faith traditions, American contemporary religious life as well as black religious thought, African American culture and politics in the age of the Obama presidency. Other writings by Joshua have been featured at Religion Dispatches and the Intellectual Consortium Uncovered blog of which he is a founding member.
Early in his professional career, Joshua worked at Dillard University in the Office of the University Chaplain providing spiritual leadership and discernment to undergraduate students. It was during his tenure at Dillard that he was able to partner his vocational work in ministry and his love for education. Joshua began the work of positively influencing the next class of young minds through leading vocational leadership seminars, partnering across departments to bring meaningful and influential speakers to campus (Rap Sessions, Inc., Fall 2012) and serving as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy.
Joshua’s research is focused on tracing the arc of black intellectualism in the 20th century to present and expectations for the future while employing elements of critical race theory to discuss the intersectionality of race, gender and politics through the specific lens of contemporary faith traditions using his formal training in theology.
Currently, Joshua serves as the first C. Eric Lincoln Minister for Student Engagement at Duke University Chapel. He will continue his work of ministry and education as well as promoting religious and spiritual intellectualism. He is using his background as a church musician (Hammond B3 organ) and his experience as a collegiate choral singer to engage students in the field of theology and the arts.
He resides in Durham, North Carolina.