The rift between black theology, with its social and political concerns, and black churches, with their emphases on pastoral care and piety, has been growing. Here, Dale Andrews offers a way to bridge this gap by redefining the paradigm of church as "refuge" in terms of a faith identity that brings together a concern for liberation with a pastoral focus on spirituality. This faith identity emerges from dominant biblical themes that shape preaching and pastoral care.
Andrews' insightful analysis of the gulf between black churches and black theology reveals the invasive influence of individualism in black religious life as well as the shared values for social change and care of the soul. Notably, it is this influence of individualism that has disrupted communal solidarity and brought about the neglect of liberation ethics within black church life. This practical theology will contribute greatly towards renewing the pastoral and prophetic ministry of black religious life.
What Du Bois noted has gone largely unstudied until now. In this book, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham gives us our first full account of the crucial role of black women in making the church a powerful institution for social and political change in the black community. Between 1880 and 1920, the black church served as the most effective vehicle by which men and women alike, pushed down by racism and poverty, regrouped and rallied against emotional and physical defeat. Focusing on the National Baptist Convention, the largest religious movement among black Americans, Higginbotham shows us how women were largely responsible for making the church a force for self-help in the black community. In her account, we see how the efforts of women enabled the church to build schools, provide food and clothing to the poor, and offer a host of social welfare services. And we observe the challenges of black women to patriarchal theology. Class, race, and gender dynamics continually interact in Higginbotham's nuanced history. She depicts the cooperation, tension, and negotiation that characterized the relationship between men and women church leaders as well as the interaction of southern black and northern white women's groups.
Higginbotham's history is at once tough-minded and engaging. It portrays the lives of individuals within this movement as lucidly as it delineates feminist thinking and racial politics. She addresses the role of black Baptist women in contesting racism and sexism through a "politics of respectability" and in demanding civil rights, voting rights, equal employment, and educational opportunities.
Righteous Discontent finally assigns women their rightful place in the story of political and social activism in the black church. It is central to an understanding of African American social and cultural life and a critical chapter in the history of religion in America.
Part One determines why sexuality has become a "taboo" issue for the Black church and community. Douglas examines the function of sexuality in White culture and the denigration and exploitation of Black sexuality through a discussion of White cultural myths, stereotypes, laws and customs concerning Black women and men. Part Two studies how Blacks have responded to sexual myths and stereotypes by retreating into silence on the subject of sexuality. In this section, Douglas discusses the function and role of sexuality in the Black church and community, homophobia/heterosexuality and how Black sexuality is portrayed in Black fictional literature. Finally, she explores the importance of sexuality and sexual discourse to the Christian theological mandate and to Black churches.
Twenty-five years after its original publication, Slave Religion remains a classic in the study of African American history and religion. In a new chapter in this anniversary edition, author Albert J. Raboteau reflects upon the origins of the book, the reactions to it over the past twenty-five years, and how he would write it differently today. Using a variety of first and second-hand sources-- some objective, some personal, all riveting-- Raboteau analyzes the transformation of the African religions into evangelical Christianity. He presents the narratives of the slaves themselves, as well as missionary reports, travel accounts, folklore, black autobiographies, and the journals of white observers to describe the day-to-day religious life in the slave communities. Slave Religion is a must-read for anyone wanting a full picture of this "invisible institution."
At the roots of African American Christian life is a powerful force of soul, a dynamic spirituality that provides joy and hope. This African American spirituality empowers a celebration of life that transforms culture. The dynamic experience of African American churches establishes a new kind of freedom that sets an example for all other peoples in their struggles for liberation from the world's shackles. Soul Survivors is a stirring call to celebrate the depths and diversity of spirituality found among African American Christians.
- A celebration of the journey of African-American women toward a new spirituality grounded in social awareness, black American tradition, metaphysics, and heightened creativity.- Features illuminating insights from Alice Walker, Toni Cade Bambara, Lucille Clifton, Dolores Kendrick, Sonia Sanchez, Michele Gibbs, Geraldine McIntosh, Masani Alexis DeVeaux and Namonyah Soipan. - By a widely published scholar, poet, and activist who has been interviewed by the press, television, and National Public Radio's All Things Considered From the last part of the twentieth century through today, African-American women have experienced a revival of spirituality and creative force, fashioning a uniquely African-American way to connect with the divine. In Soul Talk, Akasha Gloria Hull examines this multifaceted spirituality that has both fostered personal healing and functioned as a formidable weapon against racism and social injustice. Through fascinating and heartfelt conversations with some of today's most creative and powerful women--women whose spirituality encompasses, among others, traditional Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, Native American teachings, meditation, the I Ching, and African-derived ancestral reverence--the author explores how this new spiritual consciousness is manifested, how it affects the women who practice it, and how its effects can be carried to others. Using a unique and readable blend of interviews, storytelling, literary critique, and practical suggestions of ways readers can incorporate similar renewal into their daily lives, Soul Talk shows how personal and social change are possible through reconnection with the spirit.
A spiritual advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr.; the first black dean at a white university; cofounder of the first interracially pastored, intercultural church in the United States, Howard Thurman offered a transcendent vision of our world. This lyrical collection of select published and unpublished works traces his struggle with the particular manifestations of violence and hatred that mark the twentieth century. His words remind us all that out of religious faith emerges social responsibility and the power to transform lives.
Given the unique history of African Americans and their diverse religious traditions -- seen in black Christianity, the Nation of Islam, Voodoo, and others -- is there one fundamental meaning to black religion in America? What is the heart and soul of African American religious life?
As a leader in both black religious studies and theology, Anthony Pinn has probed the dynamism and variety of African American religious expressions. In this work, which he also delivered as the Edward Cadbury Lectures at the University of Birmingham, England, he searches out the basic structure of black religion, tracing the black religious spirit in its many historical manifestations. Pinn finds in the terrors of enslavement of black bodies and subsequent oppressions the primal experience to which the black religious impulse provides a perennial and cumulative response. Oppressions entailed the denial of personhood and creation of an object: the Negro. Slave auctions, punishments, and later, lynchings created an existential dread but also evoked a quest, a search, for complex subjectivity or authentic personhood that still fuels black religion today. Pinn's promising work offers a major new understanding of what it means to be black and religious in the United States.