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Reading Black Books: How African American Literature Can Make Our Faith More Whole and Just

Reading Black Books: How African American Literature Can Make Our Faith More Whole and Just

by Claude Atcho


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Learning from Black voices means listening to more than snippets. It means attending to Black stories. Reading Black Books helps Christians hear and learn from enduring Black voices and stories as captured in classic African American literature.

Pastor and teacher Claude Atcho offers a theological approach to 10 seminal texts of 20th-century African American literature. Each chapter takes up a theological category for inquiry through a close literary reading and theological reflection on a primary literary text, from Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Richard Wright's Native Son to Zora Neale Hurston's Moses, Man of the Mountain and James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain. The book includes end-of-chapter discussion questions.

Reading Black Books helps readers of all backgrounds learn from the contours of Christian faith formed and forged by Black stories, and it spurs continued conversations about racial justice in the church. It demonstrates that reading about Black experience as shown in the literature of great African American writers can guide us toward sharper theological thinking and more faithful living.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587435294
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/17/2022
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 530,504
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Claude Atcho (MTS, Midwestern Seminary) is pastor of Church of the Resurrection in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has taught African American literature at the collegiate level and is a regular writer and podcast contributor for Think Christian. He has written for Christ & Pop Culture, The Gospel Coalition, and The Witness: A Black Christian Collective.

Table of Contents

1. Image of God: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
2. Sin: Richard Wright's Native Son
3. God: James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain
4. Jesus: Countee Cullen's "Christ Recrucified" and "The Black Christ"
5. Salvation: Zora Neale Hurston's Moses, Man of the Mountain
6. Racism: Nella Larsen's Passing
7. Healing and Memory: Toni Morrison's Beloved
8. Lament: W. E. B. Du Bois's "The Litany of Atlanta"
9. Justice: Richard Wright's The Man Who Lived Underground
10. Hope: Margaret Walker's "For My People"
Discussion Questions

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