The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Inside black theology

Essays explore importance to the church

The question: To whom is black theology important? The answer: To everyone in the church. Black theology not only looks at and responds to the Christian faith from the perspective of people of African descent, it also focuses on liberation of the poor and oppressed and provides a model for all Christian theologies.

The "founding father" of black theology is James H. Cone, African Methodist Episcopal pastor and longtime theology professor at Union Seminary in New York City. In tribute to him, Fortress Press just released Living Stones in the Household of God: The Legacy and Future of Black Theology (www.fortresspress.org). Written by various authors, the 19 essays cover every aspect of the development of black theology, as well as future challenges. Linda E. Thomas, professor of theology and anthropology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, edited the volume and wrote two essays.

An authoritative source on this crucial and enduringly timely topic, this book clearly presents theological concepts to the non-theologian. The authors write from their experiences, as well as focusing on the settings where theology is lived out in congregation and community.

The essays illuminate Cone's far-reaching legacy in this country and others. They also deal with the relationship of black theology to other liberationist theologies and to both feminist and womanist theology (the latter deals explicitly with the issues and perspectives of black women). Other essays explore the connections to the black church, the white church, global religions and interfaith movements.

All of the essays make the important point that black theology must grow out of the specific history of African Americans and cannot ignore issues of slavery or ongoing racism.


Print subscribers and supporting Web members may comment.

Log in or Subscribe to comment.

text size:

this page: email | print

February issue


Embracing diversity