Down by the Riverside provides an expansive introduction to the development of African American religion and theology. Spanning the time of slavery up to the present, the volume moves beyond Protestant Christianity to address a broad diversity of African American religion from Conjure, Orisa, and Black Judaism to Islam, African American Catholicism, and humanism. This accessible historical overview begins with African religious heritages and traces the transition to various forms of Christianity, as well as the maintenance of African and Islamic traditions in antebellum America. Preeminent contributors include Charles Long, Gayraud Wilmore, Albert Raboteau, Manning Marable, M. Shawn Copeland, Vincent Harding, Mary Sawyer, Toinette Eugene, Anthony Pinn, and C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence Mamiya. They consider the varieties of religious expression emerging from migration from the rural South to urban areas, African American women's participation in Christian missions, Black religious nationalism, and the development of Black Theology from its nineteenth-century precursors to its formulation by James Cone and later articulations by black feminist and womanist theologians. They also draw on case studies to provide a profile of the Black Christian church today. This thematic history of the unfolding of religious life in African America provides a window onto a rich array of African American people, practices, and theological positions.
How is the religious experience of African Americans different from that of white Americans? Is this a story of spiritual discovery and development, or one of compulsory Christianity? African-American religions encompass a broad spectrum of beliefs and practices. African American Religion brings together the most important essays on the development of these traditions. The first part of the book orients African American religion to American history and the study of religion. The essays that follow trace the histories of many religious and cultural traditions, from the early cultural contact of Africans and Europeans, to the relationship between slavery and an emerging Black Christianity; from the place of Africa in the African-American religious consciousness, to contemporary issues such as women in the ministry and Black nationalism.
First published in 1979, this is the classic sourcebook for the emergence of Black Thelogy in the United States. Born out of the Civil Rights Movement and the emerging demand for Black Power, Black Theology has tried for 25 years to relate the gospel to the African-American experience of oppression and struggle for liberation. This revised volume contains a new introduction, many additional essays, and a revised bibliography.
Believing that African American religious studies has reached a crossroads, Cornel West and Eddie Glaude seek, in this landmark anthology, to steer the discipline into the future. Arguing that the complexity of beliefs, choices, and actions of African Americans need not be reduced to expressions of black religion, West and Glaude call for more careful reflection on the complex relationships of African American religious studies to conceptions of class, gender, sexual orientation, race, empire, and other values that continue to challenge our democratic ideals.
This widely-heralded collection of remarkable documents offers a view of African American religious history from Africa and early America through Reconstruction to the rise of black nationalism, civil rights, and black theology of today. The documents—many of them rare, out-of-print, or difficult to find—include personal narratives, sermons, letters, protest pamphlets, early denominational histories, journalistic accounts, and theological statements. In this volume Olaudah Equiano describes Ibo religion. Lemuel Haynes gives a black Puritan’s farewell. Nat Turner confesses. Jarena Lee becomes a female preacher among the African Methodists. Frederick Douglass discusses Christianity and slavery. Isaac Lane preaches among the freedmen. Nannie Helen Burroughs reports on the work of Baptist women. African Methodist bishops deliberate on the Great Migration. Bishop C. H. Mason tells of the Pentecostal experience. Mahalia Jackson recalls the glory of singing at the 1963 March on Washington. Martin Luther King, Jr. writes from the Birmingham jail. Originally published in 1985, this expanded second edition includes new sources on women, African missions, and the Great Migration. Milton C. Sernett provides a general introduction as well as historical context and comment for each document.