Down, Up, and Over: Slave Religion and Black Theology (New Vectors in the Study of Religion and Theology)

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9780800627232: Down, Up, and Over: Slave Religion and Black Theology (New Vectors in the Study of Religion and Theology)
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Hopkins contends that the lives of enslaved African Americans were the foundational source of liberating faith and practice for African Americans today. Down, Up, and Over draws on their religious experience, and the example of their faith and witness, to develop a constructive theology of liberation.

African American belief structures and hope practices blossom from the black folk's religious encounters with God, Hopkins contends. The first half of his ambitious work reconstructs the cultural matrix of African American religion--a total way of life formed by Protestantism, American culture, and the institution of slavery (16191865)--in which racial identities developed. Whites from Europe and blacks from Africa arrived with specific, differing views of God, faith, practice, and humanity. Hopkins recreates their worldviews and how white theology sought to remake African Americans into naturally inferior beings divinely ordained into subservience. The counter voice of enslaved blacks begets the Spirit of Liberation.

Tracking that Spirit, Hopkins crafts an explicit black theology of the Spirit of Liberation for us (God, chapter 4), with us (Jesus, chapter 5), and in us (human purpose, chapter 6). Out of the crucible of slavery emerge the lineaments of a constructive religious vision: the constitution of a new self and a divinely purposed liberation toward full spiritual and material humanity.

Hopkins's sweeping vision, impressive scholarship, and astute social analysis make for a fascinating and important volume, one that can help all readers find meaning and purpose in the daunting 350-year pilgrimage of African Americans.

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About the Author:

Dwight N. Hopkins is Associate Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, University of Chicago. He is author of Shoes That Fit Our Feet: Sources for a Constructive Black Theology (1993), and co-editor of Cut Loose Your Stammering Tongue: Black Theology in the Slave Narratives (1991).

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Preface Constructive Theology and the Co-Constitution of the Self Black theology is critical reflection upon the practice with and faith in a Spirit of liberation found in the black church (that is, following Jesus Christ) and the entire black community (that is, following the broader Spirit for liberation). One of the foundations of this liberation practice and faith are the lives of enslaved African Americans during the period from 1619 to 1865.

Using the context of Protestantism and North American culture during that period, this book constructs a black theology of liberation drawing on the religious experiences of enslaved African Americans. I argue that the development of constructive theology accompanies the constitution of the human person in conformity with God's wishes and designs for liberation. In particular black faith and witness--as paramount paradigms and perceptive prisms of human existence--are circumscribed by and created through particular expressions on diverse levels. Such polyvalent situations as well as African American belief structures and hope practices blossom from the rich, creative soil of enslaved black folk's religious encounters with God. In a word, black theology results from reflection on the Spirit's will of liberation revealed in various expressions of black folk's faith and practice within the context of Protestantism, American culture, and slave religion. At the same time, black theology is concerned with the Spirit's will of liberation in the co- constitution of the new liberated black self. A faith and practice of liberation create a new self. And divine liberation brings about this faith, practice, and self. Black theology reflects on this dynamic process. And necessarily so, because the faith and practice of the slavery epoch inform this process, one has to engage the particular knowledge that saturates the practical discourse of slavery, Protestantism, and American culture. How is this knowledge formed and how does it act in relation to institutions? What do these discursive practices, which act as a backdrop, have to do with constructing a black theology of liberation?

This book breaks into two parts. Such a division represents a discontinuity in form in order to serve the overall continuity of the book's substance. The separation of parts enhances the thematic uniformity of constructive theology and self co-constitution. Part 1 analyzes Protestantism and American culture theologically as a total way of life that develops religious racial formations, as conditions that made possible the origin of a specific religious reflection in America; these are the conditions that make possible a constructive black theology of liberation for today. Part 2 entails three doctrines of constructive black theology as gleaned from its very foundation; biblical interpretation and religious experiences of enslaved African Americans are cornerstones for contemporary faith statements on God, Jesus, and human purpose.

Furthermore, the construction of a black theology of liberation and the co-constitution of the self evolve from two intertwined concerns and overlapping trajectories--methods of constituting the self and disciplines of creativity. Methods of the self entail knowing one's self and taking care of one's self. Disciplines of creativity involve macrostructures (political economy), micronuances (everyday and ordinary life), language dimensions, and racial cultural identity formation. In fact, disciplines of creativity are another way of knowing and practicing methods of the self.

The question this book asks is: What is the relationship between the slave religion of Protestantism and American culture, on the one hand, and a constructive theological statement about black faith, practice, and self for liberation, on the other? I argue that a black theology of liberation originates from a faith, practice, and the co-constitution of the new self with the divine purpose of liberation toward a full spiritual and material humanity. Such a conscious understanding and practice of our faith evolve from the struggle for liberation and the practice of freedom. This process of constitution and effort toward the goal appear in disciplines of creativity and methods of the self.

The line of argument of the book divides into two parts. Part 1 investigates theologically the religious racial formation of African Americans and Euro-Americans. Chapter 1 dissects two religious arrivals: whites from Europe (1620) and blacks from Africa (1619). Both peoples brought with them a view of God and God's relation with humanity. But the difference in conception, faith, and practice determined the course of black religion and black theology, in particular, until today. Chapter 2 reveals how white Christians tried to recreate African Americans into oppressed and subservient beings by establishing white power as a normative and natural gift from God. Chapter 3 presents the countertheological voice and texts of enslaved blacks who fought to create themselves with the Spirit of liberation.

With Part 1 as a theological backdrop, Part 2 constructs an explicit black theology. It pursues the Spirit of liberation as it functions with the black poor and the oppressed: in Chapter 4, the Spirit of liberation for us (i.e., God), Chapter 5, the Spirit of liberation with us (i.e., Jesus), and Chapter 6, the Spirit of liberation in us (i.e., human purpose).

To achieve full humanity, spiritually and materially, as the Spirit has ordained us to do, we must speak about theology originating out of human-divine complexities and out of multilayered manifestations. This book is one such statement.

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Book Description Augsburg Fortress, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Hopkins contends that the lives of enslaved African Americans were the foundational source of liberating faith and practice for African Americans today. Down, Up, and Over draws on their religious experience, and the example of their faith and witness, to develop a constructive theology of liberation. African American belief structures and hope practices blossom from the black folk s religious encounters with God, Hopkins contends. The first half of his ambitious work reconstructs the cultural matrix of African American religion-a total way of life formed by Protestantism, American culture, and the institution of slavery (1619-1865)-in which racial identities developed. Whites from Europe and blacks from Africa arrived with specific, differing views of God, faith, practice, and humanity. Hopkins recreates their worldviews and how white theology sought to remake African Americans into naturally inferior beings divinely ordained into subservience. The counter voice of enslaved blacks begets the Spirit of Liberation. Tracking that Spirit, Hopkins crafts an explicit black theology of the Spirit of Liberation for us (God, chapter 4), with us (Jesus, chapter 5), and in us (human purpose, chapter 6). Out of the crucible of slavery emerges the lineaments of a constructive religious vision: the constitution of a new self and a divinely purposed liberation toward full spiritual and material humanity. Hopkins sweeping vision, impressive scholarship, and astute social analysis make for a fascinating and important volume, one that can help all readers find meaning and purpose in the daunting 350-year pilgrimage of African Americans. Seller Inventory # APC9780800627232

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Book Description Augsburg Fortress, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Hopkins contends that the lives of enslaved African Americans were the foundational source of liberating faith and practice for African Americans today. Down, Up, and Over draws on their religious experience, and the example of their faith and witness, to develop a constructive theology of liberation. African American belief structures and hope practices blossom from the black folk s religious encounters with God, Hopkins contends. The first half of his ambitious work reconstructs the cultural matrix of African American religion-a total way of life formed by Protestantism, American culture, and the institution of slavery (1619-1865)-in which racial identities developed. Whites from Europe and blacks from Africa arrived with specific, differing views of God, faith, practice, and humanity. Hopkins recreates their worldviews and how white theology sought to remake African Americans into naturally inferior beings divinely ordained into subservience. The counter voice of enslaved blacks begets the Spirit of Liberation. Tracking that Spirit, Hopkins crafts an explicit black theology of the Spirit of Liberation for us (God, chapter 4), with us (Jesus, chapter 5), and in us (human purpose, chapter 6). Out of the crucible of slavery emerges the lineaments of a constructive religious vision: the constitution of a new self and a divinely purposed liberation toward full spiritual and material humanity. Hopkins sweeping vision, impressive scholarship, and astute social analysis make for a fascinating and important volume, one that can help all readers find meaning and purpose in the daunting 350-year pilgrimage of African Americans. Seller Inventory # APC9780800627232

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Book Description Augsburg Fortress Publishing. Paperback. Condition: New. 316 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.0in. x 0.8in.Hopkins contends that the lives of enslaved African Americans were the foundational source of liberating faith and practice for African Americans today. Down, Up, and Over draws on their religious experience, and the example of their faith and witness, to develop a constructive theology of liberation. African American belief structures and hope practices blossom from the black folks religious encounters with God, Hopkins contends. The first half of his ambitious work reconstructs the cultural matrix of African American religion--a total way of life formed by Protestantism, American culture, and the institution of slavery (16191865)--in which racial identities developed. Whites from Europe and blacks from Africa arrived with specific, differing views of God, faith, practice, and humanity. Hopkins recreates their worldviews and how white theology sought to remake African Americans into naturally inferior beings divinely ordained into subservience. The counter voice of enslaved blacks begets the Spirit of Liberation. Tracking that Spirit, Hopkins crafts an explicit black theology of the Spirit of Liberation for us (God, chapter 4), with us (Jesus, chapter 5), and in us (human purpose, chapter 6). Out of the crucible of slavery emerge the lineaments of a constructive religious vision: the constitution of a new self and a divinely purposed liberation toward full spiritual and material humanity. Hopkinss sweeping vision, impressive scholarship, and astute social analysis make for a fascinating and important volume, one that can help all readers find meaning and purpose in the daunting 350-year pilgrimage of African Americans. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780800627232

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