113. A Fighting God: Black Theology

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After Albert Cleage and James Cone propose a liberatory interpretation of Christianity, William R. Jones wonders whether God is a white racist. We also follow Black Theology among “Womanist” authors and in South Africa.



Further Reading

• K. Brown Douglas, The Black Christ: 25th Anniversary Edition (Maryknoll: 1994).

• J.H. Cone, Black Theology and Black Power (New York: 1969).

• J.H. Cone, God of the Oppressed (New York: 1975).

• A. Cleage, The Black Messiah (New York: 1968).

• J.J. Gardiner and J.D. Roberts (eds), Quest for a Black Theology (Philadelphia, 1971).

• W.R. Jones, Is God a White Racist? A Preamble to Black Theology (Boston: 1973).

B. Moore (ed.), The Challenge of Black Theology in South Africa (Atlanta: 1974).

J.D. Roberts, Liberation and Reconciliation: A Black Theology (Philadelphia: 1971).

• J.R. Washington, The Politics of God (Boston: 1967).


D.J. Bosch, “Current and Crosscurrents in South African Black Theology,” Journal of Reliigon in Africa 6 (1974), 1-22.

• E.J. Fisher, The Reverend Albert Cleage Jr. and the Black Prophetic Tradition: A Reintroduction of The Black Messiah (Lanham: 2022).

• D.N. Hopkins, Heart and Head: Black Theology – Past, Present and Future (New York: 2002).

• D.N. Hopkins and E.P. Antonio (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology (Cambridge: 2012).

• M.J. Jones, Christian Ethics for Black Theology: The Politics of Liberation (Nashville: 1974).

• S. Mitchem, Introducing Womanist Theology (Maryknoll: 2002).

• M. Schoffeleers, “Black and African Theology in Southern Africa: A Controversy Re-Examined,” Journal of Religion in Africa 18 (1988), 99-124.

• G.S. Wilmore, Black Religion and Black Radicalism (Garden City: 1972).


Charles on 16 February 2023

Black Christianity is an oxymoron

The proponents of black theology are ignore the fundamental fact that as long as we remain enslaved to the white man’s religion, no matter how we tinker with it, we will NEVER be free. 

In reply to by Charles

Peter Adamson on 16 February 2023

Black Christianity

Well that was certainly a view also expressed by some of the thinkers we have covered, Malcolm X for example. It's interesting to see how there were vigorous views on both sides of this debate. Soon we'll cover Steve Biko who, from a South African perspective, was influenced by Black Theology even though he also associated Christianity with colonialism; his view was that Christianity can be adapted for use in Africa, but that it was applied in an inappropriate and inflexible way in the colonialist period, missing the opportunity to do so.

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