An Asian-American Renewal Historical Theologian’s Response to the Duke African-American Nouvelle Théologie of Race

in Pneuma
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In this article I critically engage the Duke theologians of race—Carter, Jennings, and Bantam—devoting attention especially to Jennings. While appreciating and acknowledging the significance of these projects, I critique Jennings’s selective historiography and suggest that engaging the Anglo-American early modern supersessionist theologies of culture and race would have benefitted Jennings’ project. Then I trace out some implications of Jennings’s call to re-engage Israel and examine how his idealized vision of “submersion and in submission to another’s cultural realities” affects the notion of conversion theologically. As an Asian-American historical theologian, I argue that race is not and should no longer be looked upon as a black-white binary reality. In conclusion, I call for a historiographical fine-tuning of these theologies of race.


The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies



J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008); Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010); Brian Bantum, Redeeming Mulatto: Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2010).


Jonathan Tran, “The New Black Theology: Retrieving Ancient Sources to Challenge Racism,” Christian Century 129, no. 3 (February 8, 2012): 24–27. For a similar contribution in this period and the reconfiguration of Christianity in particular, see Paul Lim, Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); Jonathan Sheehan, The Enlightenment Bible: Translation, Scholarship, Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).


Jennings, Christian Imagination, 8.


Jennings, Christian Imagination, 9.


Ibid., 36.


Ibid., 92.


Ibid., 100–101.


Clayton, Bartolomé de Las Casas, 56–59.


Jennings, Christian Imagination, 93–94.


Jennings, Christian Imagination, 259.


Ibid., 267.


Ibid., 266.


Jennings, Christian Imagination, 275.


Cited in Jennings, Christian Imagination, 32.


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