Black theology philosophical viewpoint

Black theology refers to the philosophical viewpoint that came from the African-American seminarians, academics, and particular Black Churches in the U.S. and then from other parts of the world. It puts Christianity into perspective to encourage those of African descent to transcend oppression. It focuses mainly on the injustices perpetrated during U.S. segregation and apartheid against African Americans and black South Africans.

Black theology seeks to free the unwhite from various forms of political, social, and economic subjugation and regards Christian theology as a theology of liberation: “a rational study of the being of God in the world given the existential conditions of an oppressed community, relating the liberating forces to the essence of the Gospel, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” James wrote. Black theology blends Christianity with civil rights issues posed by the Black Power and the Black Consciousness movement in particular.

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James H. Cone first discussed this theology in the 1950s following the proclamation by Malcolm X of the “white man’s faith” against Christianity. According to Jonathan L. Walton, a Black Religion expert:

James Cone claimed that the New Testament revealed Jesus as one who identified with the people who suffer from racism, social exclusion, and cultural exclusion. And because historically established race distinctions (i.e., blackness and whiteness) in America had culturally meant supremacy (whiteness) and oppression (blackness), theologically, Cone argued that Jesus revealed himself as black to disrupt and dismantle white oppression.

Theology of Dwight Hopkins:

Dwight Hopkins, a professor of divinity theology at Chicago University, says Jesus is often portrayed as a brown-skinned revolutionary by the theology of black liberation. He quotes Mary’s words in the Magnificat, which she claims are “The Song of Mary,” in which God wants to bring down the mighty and lift the humble. Hopkins also states that Jesus says in Matthew’s Book that the way to heaven is to feed those who are hungry, to clothe them naked, to visit the sick and the prisoners. Chapter 4 of the Gospel of Luke, where he explains his ministry’s intent, also provides the core text for black liberation theology.

“Jesus claims that my goal is to eliminate poverty and to achieve equality and freedom for the underprivileged,” says Hopkins. “And in America most Christian pastors miss this section of the novel.”

Hopkins attends the Church of Christ of Trinity United, of which Rev. Wright has resigned as pastor. In the now-famous 2003 sermon, Wright said the struggles of black people were the product of racism, which persists in America, shouting, “No, no, God bless America, not America! God goddamn America — this is in the Bible — that it kills innocent people.”

According to Hopkins, this was religious wordplay — since the word “damn” comes straight from the Bible and in the original Hebrew, it has a special significance.

“It is a holy rebuke of God to a wicked country that has turned its backs to justice, has strayed from peace issues, has strayed from reconciliation problems,” says Hopkins.

Kelly Brown theology:

Whether it’s personal experience or movie and television portrayals, most Americans know that Sunday services can be very vibrant in the black Christian churches. Decorated with elegant and rich robes, adorers dance, clap, wave, screaming, sigh, and singing. Choirs are constantly built to the emotional climax, accompanied by drums, brass, and keyboards, bringing together people. Pastors call the people and urge them to respond enthusiastically. African American Christians rejoice with their bodies, cry, pray and thank the Lord.

In comparison, worshipers in many Christian white churches solemnly contain their conservatively clothed bodies. Musicians seldom swept away by emotion, almost alone, when people sing in silent voices, if at all. People murmur sotto voice responses; pastors seem to be uneasy about the quality of congregational involvement. European American Christians monitor their bodies carefully to look decorous before and before the Lord. On the surface, American customs of worship suggest that the body is much more comfortable than most white Christian customs. Yet, many of these churches – both white and black – appear to fear and reject sexual diversity. Homophobia and heterosexism among Christians are prevalent, and black and white churches lead the movement towards blocking homosexual marriage. African Americans are especially likely to condemn same-sex marriage among U.S. residents, sometimes referring to Christian lessons. 1 These behaviors show a profound aversion to some types of organisms. But given U.S. racism’s past, © Karen Teel 2010 100 K. Teel, Racism and the Image of God Should black Christians be opposed to homosexuality by racism and God’s image of white aversion to black bodies? So far, there has been no consensus among African Americans. Others, citing the Bible as hostiles to homosexual relations, take offense at the implication that since enslaved dark people were forbidden from marrying and subsequently were prohibited from marrying whites, they must now encourage marriage between the same sexes. Black scholars of religion often disagree with one another.

At the start of the growth of feminist theology, Cheryl Sanders argued in the late 1980s that Christian thinkers could not be women because the connection between same-sex, which Alice Walker’s fundamental meaning of the word affirms, contradicted the spirit of Christianity. 2 The controversy between Black Christians over homosexuality is a microcosm of a broader discussion. Some religious scientists in Africa claim that black resistance to homosexuality is an unintended byproduct of assimilation that attempts to conform with white culture. Black worship services can be vibrant as they do in a white gaze-protected room. However, to recognize black churches and churchmen as authentically Christian, preaching contents are generally in line with the white mainstream. The woman thinker Kelly Brown Douglas argues that Black Churches have uncritically embraced White church homophobia and that this is a question of the biblical interpretation and the spiritual growth of Christianity. In her opinion, the main fault is Plato’s and the Greeks’ influence, which contributed to “platinization,” to inscribe dualism at the heart of Christianity. Douglas argues that removing and replacing platinization with the principle of “harmonious connection” from the history of black faith will remove black Christian homophobia.

How does Jesus function in:

James cone theology: While Cone gives priority to the revelation of God as the beginning of theological research, he argues that the culture of a people is an essential source to theologically think about the redemptive movement of God in the world. Therefore, Cone establishes that theology has a joint function and a public vocation about the needs of the Christian community and society’s people, which contextualize and educate theological creativity and hermeneutics. As human relationships are dynamic in societies, Christian theology must lead to the complete transformation of human conditions in the community and the reconciliation of all things through Christ the Liberator to be a faithful witness to God’s active intervention in human affairs. As an academic discipline, Christian theology must not fail to respond to marginalized and disadvantaged communities in society.


Delores Seneva Williams: (born 1937) is an American Presbyterian theologian known for her educational role in the advancement of women’s theology and her book Sisters in the wild. Seneva Williams: In 1993, Williams published the Challenge of God-Talk by Sisters in the wild. Williams explored ideas from the tale of Hagar in the wilderness, using the experiences of black women as a starting point for biblical interpretation. The biblical character Hagar was Abraham’s concubine and servant to Abraham and Sarah, his wife. The position of Hagar as a handmaid, the birth of Ishmael when Abraham and Sarah could not conceive, and the function of the black women in caring for white children during and after slavery are identical. The biblical tale of Hagar’s survival capacity in the desert has echoed with many black women who have been empowered to live and continue through hardship by relying upon their God. Jesus’ function is to serve as a pillar of power.

Williams states in particular how Hagar’s place in Sarah was comparable with the positions of Black women as mothers, both within their own cultures and in white women. She claims that the slavery system forced enslaved mothers to “protect, protect, fight tyranny, and liberate” their loved ones. However, as Hagar, many Black women have been forced into white family surrogacy positions, have been forced to bear children or take care of the children of their masters, and have worked for low-wages workers in white people’s homes after slavery.

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