This introductory article reviews defining concepts of recent theological works by James K. Carter, Willie Jennings, and Brian Bantum. The works of the “Duke School” illuminate how racist ideations have marred western theology. The three authors also engage race, though socially constructed, as a site in which Christ’s humanity can be rendered more fully visible. Christ’s ethnic materiality becomes an emancipatory embodiment. The six essays under consideration speak to the complexity of delineating the racist impulse and subsequent trajectory in western theology, to the ambivalent potentials in racializing terms such as “chosen” and “indigenous,” and to the failure of imagination attending those black academic theologies too beholden to the Civil Rights era past. Broad, divergent strokes are drawn in competing visions for what might constitute the “pentecostal” future. This essay canvasses such salient beginnings and critical intersections.
See Timothy E. Fulop, “The Future Golden Day of the Race: Millennialism and Black Americans in the Nadir, 1877–1901,”Harvard Theological Review84, no.1 (1991): 75–99. Many thanks to one of the anonymous reviewers for this insight.