Faith Public Speaking

Black. Christian. Confused???

Is the church honest about it’s oppressive history?
Is Jesus’ race important?
Do Black Lives Matter in the church?

To some it seems that the issue of race and Christianity is pretty much unaddressed in the church. Under the surface, many of us who claim the title of ‘Christian’ are wrestling with the seemingly endless questions and contradictions that get thrown up time and again.

If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, a couple years ago I began to publicly work through some of these questions, but I soon stopped when I realised this was a topic that was bigger than a couple hours of research and throwing some thoughts and conclusions together.

That’s why I decided to organise an event at my church, ecclēsia, addressing this topics in an open forum-type setting with a panellist of speakers and an opportunity for conversation and questions from the audience.

We delved into so much, but it still felt like we only scratched the surface, so part 2 is coming (see below). In the meantime, you can listen to the first event in the playlist above.

Our esteemed panellists were:

Eleasah Phoenix Louis –PhD Theology Student and facilitator of Black Consciousness and Christian Faith Forum

William Ackah – Lecturer at Birkbeck University and co-editor of ‘Religion and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora‘, co-convenor of the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race

Gabrielle Samuels –Theology graduate and in leadership at BLoC Church

Steve Latham –Pastor at King’s Cross Baptist Church and Associate Tutor at Spurgeon’s College

At the request of our audience, I collected together a list of reading materials and resources that may be of interest to anyone who wants to really get stuck in to this (see below-below).

Part 2 of Black. Christian. Confused? is happening on Saturday 24th February 2018. It’s free entry but doors will close at 7pm.

Reading List and Resources

Christianity in Black Britain
‘Dread and Pentecostal’ – Robert Beckford
‘Jesus is Dread: Black Theology and Black Culture in Britain’ – Robert Beckford
‘Is God Colour-Blind?’ – Anthony Reddie
‘Working Against The Grain: Re-imaging Black Theology in the 21st Century’ – Anthony Reddie
‘Black Theology: An International Journal’ – Edited by Anthony Reddie
‘Black Theology in Transatlantic Dialogue’ – Anthony G. Reddie
‘The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race’ – Willie James Jennings

Christianity in Black America
‘Black Theology & Black Power’ – James H Cone
‘The Cross and the Lynching Tree’ – James H. Cone
‘The Color of Christ’ – Edward J. Blum & Paul Harvey
‘Defending Black Faith: Answers To Tough Questions About African-American Christianity’ – Craig S. Kenner & Glenn Usry
‘Jesus and the Disinherited’ – Howard Thurman
‘The Radical King’ – Cornel West
‘Prophetic Fragments’ – Cornel West
‘Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture’ – Michael Eric Dyson
‘Introducing Black Theology of Liberation’ – Dwight N. Hopkins
‘Down, Up, and Over: Slave Religion and Black Theology’ – Dwight N. Hopkins
‘Race: A Theological Account’ – J Kameron Carter
‘Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God’ – Kelly Brown Douglas
‘Race, Religion, and Resilience in the Neoliberal Age’ – Cedric C. Johnson

African Christianity
‘Religion, Culture and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora’ – edited by William Ackah, Jualynne E. Dodson, R. Drew Smith‘How Africa Shaped The Christian Mind’ – Thomas C. Oden
‘The Black Jews of Africa’ – Edith Bruder
‘Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity’ – Lamin Sanneh
‘The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality’ – Cheikh Anta Diop
‘African Christian Theology’ – Samuel Waje Kunhiyop
‘Christianity in Africa’ – Kwame Bediako
‘Theology and Identity’ – Kwame Bediako
‘Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race’ – Edward W. Blyden
‘Morality: Truly Christian, Truly African’ – Paulinus Ikechukwu Odozor
‘A History of Christianity in Africa’ – Elizabeth Isichei
‘Whose Religion is Christianity: The Gospel Beyond The West’ – Lamin Sanneh
‘African Christianity: An African Story’ – Ogbu U Kalu
‘Indigenous Black Theology’ – Jawanza Eric Clark

Black Consciousness
‘The Mis-Education of the Negro’ – Carter Godwin Woodson
‘Black Culture and Black Consciousness’ – Lawrence W. Levine
‘The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness’ – Paul Gilroy
‘Black Skin, White Masks’ – Frantz Fanon
‘The Wretched of the Earth’ – Frantz Fanon
‘The Souls of Black Folk’ – W.E.B. Du Bois
‘Racism without Racists’ – Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
‘Steve Biko: Black Consciousness in South Africa’ – edited by Millard Arnold
‘Black Athena’ – Martin Bernal
‘Black Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt’ – Robert Bauval & Thomas Brophy

Black Women and Christianity
‘Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader’ – Katie G Cannon, E. Townes
‘Introducing Womanist Theology’ – Stephanie V. Mitchem

Online Resources
The Jude 3 Project
Black Berea
The Urban Perspective
The Witness (formerly known as the Reformed African American Network)

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