Black Theologies

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Black theology burst onto the scene in the late 1960s as a new cohort of progressive African American clergy and seminarians responded to the imperative of a burgeoning black freedom movement and global anticolonial struggles. Taken collectively, their work championed a distinctive black theological tradition, birthed in the context of enslavement and transmitted through independent black churches, which placed primacy on God’s preferential and emancipatory activity on behalf of the poor and oppressed. This chapter traces the origins, development, and legacy of black theology over three consecutive generations, identifying important debates related to the discipline’s defining motifs, methods, and approaches as well as the emergence of alternative paradigms, including womanist theology and African American humanism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History
EditorsPaul Harvey, Kathryn Gin Lum
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190221171
ISBN (Print)9780190221171
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Religion
  • Race
  • Black Theology


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