Introducing Black Theology of Liberation
By: Dwight N. Hopkins
Both of these well-written and easily accessible books situate black theology in the context of the African American church and in opposition to white-dominated theologies. After a brief introduction to black theology during the slave period, Hopkins (theology, Univ. of Chicago; Shoes That Fit Our Feet) traces its more recent history--from the the Civil Rights era (1950s and 1960s) to the present. He considers the generation of the founders, examines the second generation (which came at theology from different political and cultural perspectives), and then treats more modern movements (especially vis-?-vis women and the Third World). He concludes with reflections on the challenges facing black theology today. Cone (theology, Union Theological Seminary; Black Theology and Black Power) offers a collection of essays he wrote over the last 30 years. He argues that Christ's central message to 20th-century Americans is black power, supports women's greater participation in the black church, and encourages black undergraduates to recognize the role of theology in their studies. He also suggests that Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had a complementary influence on black theology. Both of these books have the potential to make readers who are not African American somewhat uncomfortable because of the challenges they contain. Still, all readers would benefit from a reflective study of these thoughtful texts. Recommended for African American studies collections, seminaries, and larger libraries.
-Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, NJ -Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Dwight N. Hopkins is associate professor of theology at the University of Chicago, Divinity School. His many books include Shoes That Fit Our Feet, and (with George Cummings) Cut Loose Your Stammering Tongue.