Courage to Hope: From Black Suffering to Human Redemption

Overview

In this unique collaboration, the most prized and esteemed scholars in theology, religious history, and sociology offer a new understanding of American spiritual life by placing African-American religious experience at its center. Moving from specific cases in African-American history and theology to discussions of how African-American experiences can and should inform all studies of American life, they uncover the spiritual human soul that unites all of us. The editors call this project a "testament of hope," ...

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Overview

In this unique collaboration, the most prized and esteemed scholars in theology, religious history, and sociology offer a new understanding of American spiritual life by placing African-American religious experience at its center. Moving from specific cases in African-American history and theology to discussions of how African-American experiences can and should inform all studies of American life, they uncover the spiritual human soul that unites all of us. The editors call this project a "testament of hope," and it is a powerful tribute to the late James M. Washington, whose works were an inspirational search for universality.

Contributors include James H. Cone, David D. Daniels III, Walter E. Fluker, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, E. Lee Hancock, Dale T. Irvin, Carolyn Ann Knight, Charles H. Long, Sandy Dwayne Martin, Genna Rae McNeil, Richard Newman, Albert J. Raboteau, Gary V. Simpson, Mark V.C. Taylor, Judith Weisenfeld, and Lucas Wilson.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book of essays, collected in honor of the late black church historian James Melvin Washington, is held together by the theme of black suffering and prospects for the future. Contributors--religious studies scholars and Washington's former colleagues at Union Theological Seminary--offer insight and the hope that the poor can be empowered "to fight the monster." "Why did God permit millions of blacks to be stolen from Africa...and enslaved in a strange land?," theologian James Cone writes. "No black person has been able to escape the existential agony of that question." Two essays--Judith Weisenfeld's decidedly secular piece "Difference as Evil" and Walter Flurer's analysis of the role spirituality can play in overcoming African American nihilism--stand out. Edited by renowned Harvard theologian West and up-and-coming religious scholar Dixie, this book is "theology [that's] worth the paper that it is printed on." Recommended for large public, seminary, and academic libraries, especially those with special collections in black studies and theology.--Steve Young, Montclair State Univ., NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807009536
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Quinton Hosford Dixie is assistant professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana. Cornel West is Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., University Professor at Harvard University and author of many books, including Race Matters. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Vincent Harding is author of many books, including I've Known Rivers. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction: The Intellectual Legacy of James Melvin Washington
History
"God's All in This Place": God and Historical Writing in the Postmodern Era 3
Passage and Prayer: The Origin of Religion in the Atlantic World 11
"The Blood of the Martyrs Is the Seed of Faith": Suffering in the Christianity of American Slaves 22
Providence and the Black Christian Consensus: A Historical Essay on the African American Religious Experience 40
Evil & Salvation
Waymaking and Dimensions of Responsibility: An African American Perspective on Salvation 63
"Calling the Oppressors to Account": Justice, Love, and Hope in Black Religion 74
Difference as Evil 86
The Politics of Conversion and the Civilization of Friday 103
Preaching & Scripture
Linking Texts with Contexts: The Biblical Sermon as Social Commentary 121
What Can We Say to These Things?: James Melvin Washington and Preaching in the African American Church Tradition 134
Preaching by Punctuation: Moving from Texts and Ideas to Sermons That Live with Passion 147
Have You Not Read What David Did?: A Sermon for Jim Washington 162
Church & Community
Strangers and the Homecoming: Church and Community in the Grammar of Faith 173
Seeming Silence and African American Culture: Interruption as a Metaphor of Transformation in the Religious Historiography of James Melvin Washington 183
"Some Folks Get Happy and Some Folks Don't": Diversity, Community, and African American Christian Spirituality 200
Letter to James: A Conversation on Archaeology and Soul 214
Benediction 224
Notes 229
Contributors' Notes 255
Index 259
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