Author: Abraham Smith

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited (1949). Thurman’s classic was not a work of dogma nor a variation on the so-called “Quest for the Historical Jesus.” Instead, Thurman’s classic primarily offered a mystic’s message of hope to many marginalized persons in the first half of the twentieth century. In part, Jesus and the Disinherited reveals Jesus’s insight about the importance of personal dignity for dispossessed persons in any age. In part, Jesus and the Disinherited also frames the mystic’s message of hope as a defense of Thurman’s affinity for a religion that reputedly was linked to a long history of oppression, colonization, violence, and exploitation. Thus, in Jesus and the Disinherited, Thurman avers that there is a distinction between the religion of Jesus (which Thurman put on the side of the marginalized) and institutional Christianity (which Thurman saw as aligned with dominant societal structures).

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Author: Abraham Smith
In this study, Abraham Smith introduces the nature, history, and interventions of two theoretical-political cultural productions: Black/Africana studies (the systematic and rigorous study of Africa and African descendants) and Black/Africana biblical studies (a biblical studies’ subfield that analyzes and appraises the strategies of reception and the historical and contemporary impact of the Christian bible for people of African descent). Both cultural productions were formally introduced in U.S. educational institutions in the late 1960s as a part of the Black Freedom movement. Both have long and deep intellectual antecedents on the one hand and ever-evolving recent interventions that challenge a narrow politics of identity on the other. Through the interrogation of keywords (such as race, family, and Hip Hop or cartographies, canons, and contexts), moreover, the study examines how these two theoretical-political projects question the settled epistemologies or prevailing intellectual currencies of their respective times.
Author: Abraham Smith

Abstract

Erstwhile helpful historical and literary readings of Mark 6:14-29 traditionally give short shrift to the typological characterization of Herod Antipas as a tyrant in the gospel of Mark. This article addresses that gap by tracing the history and conventions of the tyrant typology and by drawing out the implications of the Markan characterization of Herod Antipas with the ancient stock features of a tyrant. Markan characterization of Herod Antipas not only exposes him as a tyrant. It also provides the rhetorical scaffolding for a thematic critique against tyrannical postures of any kind, including those that may have entered into Jesus' own fellowship.

In: Biblical Interpretation
Author: Abraham Smith

Abstract

In this study, Abraham Smith introduces the nature, history, and interventions of two theoretical-political cultural productions: Black/Africana studies (the systematic and rigorous study of Africa and African descendants) and Black/Africana biblical studies (a biblical studies’ subfield that analyzes and appraises the strategies of reception and the historical and contemporary impact of the Christian bible for people of African descent). Both cultural productions were formally introduced in U.S. educational institutions in the late 1960s as a part of the Black Freedom movement. Both have long and deep intellectual antecedents on the one hand and ever-evolving recent interventions that challenge a narrow politics of identity on the other. Through the interrogation of keywords (such as race, family, and Hip Hop or cartographies, canons, and contexts), moreover, the study examines how these two theoretical-political projects question the settled epistemologies or prevailing intellectual currencies of their respective times.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation
Author: Abraham Smith

Abstract

In this study, Abraham Smith introduces the nature, history, and interventions of two theoretical-political cultural productions: Black/Africana studies (the systematic and rigorous study of Africa and African descendants) and Black/Africana biblical studies (a biblical studies’ subfield that analyzes and appraises the strategies of reception and the historical and contemporary impact of the Christian bible for people of African descent). Both cultural productions were formally introduced in U.S. educational institutions in the late 1960s as a part of the Black Freedom movement. Both have long and deep intellectual antecedents on the one hand and ever-evolving recent interventions that challenge a narrow politics of identity on the other. Through the interrogation of keywords (such as race, family, and Hip Hop or cartographies, canons, and contexts), moreover, the study examines how these two theoretical-political projects question the settled epistemologies or prevailing intellectual currencies of their respective times.

In: Black/Africana Studies and Black/Africana Biblical Studies
In: Horizons in Biblical Theology