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This essay inspired by the memory of James H. Cone (1938–2018) and Katie G. Cannon (1950–2018), explores the contributions of both scholars to the academy, society, and the public space. Drawing on selected publications, it argues that the recent “passing over” of these two liberationist theologians to other shores of existence warrant significant reflection on their legacies in combating social and other forms of death, reimagining black historical, communal, and eschatological existence, and visions of liberation, justice, and peace for all. They articulated an idea or vision of American society that ran counter to and sought to transcend the dominant construction or ethos of American society.

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In: Journal of Black Religious Thought
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This article examines the methods and strategies introduced by the Qur’an for establishing a just society. More specifically, it argues that the opening verse of Surat al-Nisa (the fourth chapter of the Qur’an) serves as a roadmap for humanity on how to achieve true peace, establish authentic justice and maintain sustainable security in every aspect of life. In doing so, the article addresses the following questions: What does the Qur’an mean when it states that humanity is one family?

What should be done to affirm every person’s dignity and respect is preserved? How can we secure justice and establish peace for all people? What are the measures that should be considered to evaluate our success or failure strategies? The article engages with these critical issues through the lens of the Quran, applying the methodology of reading the Qur’an intratextually as one structural unity (al-wihda al-binaʾiyya lil-Qur’an). This holistic method reads the Qur’an as a unified text by cross-examining and integrating its linguistic, structural, and conceptual elements. The article highlights the Qur’anic model to prevent injustice and promote peace through justice and mercy by being individually accountable to each other.

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In: Journal of Black Religious Thought
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In: Journal of Black Religious Thought
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This essay, compromised of six parts, discusses: (1) migration and generation consciousness, (2) the framing of Gen 12–50 and Exodus to 2 Kings through the socio-canonical cadre of four generations, (3) the theological nature of the Southern Kingdom’s fall—sin, a first generation exilic construct, (4) the third generation in Jacob, (5) the fourth generation Joseph and its most telling subject matter of a hidden cultural memory, and (6) the conclusion comparing the third and fourth generations respectively, for further scholastic engagement. Seminal subject matters from Elephantine are also discussed.

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In: Journal of Black Religious Thought
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Martin Luther King, Jr. employs different theological concepts to substantiate equality and dignity of all human beings. Among these, the metaphors “children of God” and “image of God” feature prominently. While the children of God-concept is used widely in the African American religious and theological tradition, the occurrences of imago Dei are rather scarce in the generation of King and his teachers. This article reconstructs the usage of the concept of children of God – which is used in the New Testament context and thus often in orthodox Protestantism exclusively – as an inclusive universal anthropological concept in the Black religious tradition and its reception as well as adaptation in King’s own work. With regard to the theologoumenon of image of God, we will see that King starts to apply it differently beginning in the early 1960s, now explicitly using it as a foundation of human dignity and worth, and respectively, human rights. In many interpretations of King’s writings, it is overlooked that the usage of the imago Dei-concept was not at all common at this time. Sometimes the metaphor is retrojected in parts of King’s work, where it is not employed as a foundation of dignity. It is also not totally clear why King alters his theological argument at this time, but it is very likely that it is related to his exchange with George Kelsey and Abraham Heschel, who both employ the term as the basis for equality and dignity during this period. This development in King’s theology is an important step forward since in mainstream Protestant theology this development does not take place until one or two decades later.

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In: Journal of Black Religious Thought
In: Journal of Black Religious Thought