Black Faith and Public Talk: Critical Essays on James H. Cone's 'Black Theology and Black Power'.

Author:Martin, Sandy Dwayne
Position:Book review

Black Faith and Public Talk: Critical Essays on James H. Cone's Black Theology and Black Power. Edited by Dwight N. Hopkins. Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 2007. 269. pp. $24.95 paper.

Dwight N. Hopkins has pulled together twenty very provocative, insightful, and well-written essays from an array of distinguished and qualified scholars and religious leaders centered around the twin themes of celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of James Hal Cone's Black Theology and Black Power and illustrating now the faith of black Christians expresses itself in the public arena. In addition to his introduction, the author divides the work into five major parts. Cornel West, Stephen L. Carter, and David Tracy write essays under the category of "Black Faith and Religious Themes." They relate black theology and the black church to issues of human identity, religious freedom, and the dangers of oppressive universality. In Part II, "Black Faith and Prophetic Faith Communities," Dwight N. Hopkins, Jamie T. Phelps, Manning Marable, J. Alfred Smith, Sr., and Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., address issues of black theology and theological education, the Catholic Church experience of African Americans, black leadership and the freedom struggle, parish ministry, and the black church's' "underground theology."

Part III pays particular attention to "Black Faith and Women" in essays by Emilie M. Townes, Jacquelyn Grant, Renee Leslie Hill, and Rebecca S. Chopp. Essays in this section deal with the relevance and contributions of women to the development of black theology by using poetic and socio-theological methodology, focusing, on domestic servanthood, explicating the challenges and benefits of multiple identities (e.g., black, woman, lesbian), and providing a comparative analysis of black and feminist theology in terms of public discourse. Part IV, Black Faith and the Third World, reminds us that the issues of oppression and liberation transcend the black North American experience. Rosemary Radford Ruether, Linda E. Thomas, and Silvia Regina de Lima Silva provide essays that discuss African theology and black theology in Africa, compare the American Fannie Lou Hamer and the South African Christinah...

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