The Gospel according to James Baldwin: What America’s Great Prophet Can Teach Us about Life, Love, and Identity
By: Greg Garrett
"In this concise volume, Greg Garrett has given us an immense gift: a beautifully written and accessible window into the wisdom of James Baldwin. Garrett powerfully presents Baldwin as a compassionate witness, an unyielding prophet, and even a saint in the deepest meaning of that word. Garrett lets Baldwin’s incandescent writing shine through, illuminating a path forward and allowing us to see that we can do and be better than we are."-Robert P. Jones, president and founder of PRRI, author of The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy and the Path to a Shared American Future
"James Baldwin has often been seen as one of the progenitors for the development of Black theology given his relationship to both MLK and Malcolm X in the 1960s. In this remarkable book, Greg Garrett has brought James Baldwin from the supporting cast to an upfront starring role as an immense religious thinker in his own right committed to social justice and humanitarian living. This book is a literal 'must read'. " -Anthony G. Reddie is the Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture in Regent's Park College, the University of Oxford.
“Greg Garrett is correct, “it takes an artist, a saint and a prophet” to articulate the challenge that is presented to us regarding race and racial healing. But it also takes courage to hear the voice of the artist, saint and prophet and Garrett brings that courage to his work in The Gospel According to James Baldwin: What America’s Great Prophet Can Teach Us About Life, Love and Identity. The courage to hear Baldwin and to speak about what is heard is depicted throughout this work and will help to heal all who are willing to hear.” - Catherine Meeks, Ph.D, Author, The Night is Long, But Light Comes in the Morning Meditations on Racial Healing
Baldwin’s writing offers critiques of religion, culture, and discrimination, and in the witness of his life he holds up hope and the primacy of love despite all the difficulties of the present moment. In this passionate introduction, Garrett presents the life and work of Baldwin in all his writing genres, on themes of equity, justice, and reconciliation.
Garrett followed in Baldwin’s footsteps—from New York City to the American South, from the cafes of St.-Germain in Paris to the mountains of Switzerland, where Baldwin did some of his most important thinking and writing. Garrett consulted critical and cultural studies, as well as archival materials from the recently-inaugurated Baldwin Collection at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Out of this close study of Baldwin’s words and legacy, Garrett invites new readers and longtime lovers of the great Black writer into a thoughtful exploration of his continued relevance.
Greg Garrett is, according to BBC Radio, one of America’s essential voices on religion and culture. His work has been featured in media ranging from National Public Radio and The New Statesman to FOX News and The National Review, from Christianity Today and The Christian Century to Playboy and Men’s Health. Greg is co-founder and co-curator of the Long Long Way Film Festival at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, exploring racism and reconciliation through the lens of Hollywood film, and of Scene and Unseen, a similar program on race and film at Trinity Church, Wall Street. Professor of English at Baylor University, Greg has been a visiting fellow at Oxford University’s Centre for Religion and Culture and serves each summer as Theologian in Residence at American Cathedral in Paris.
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