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A unique study of how the Bible "constructs" African Americans and how African Americans "construct" the bibleFrom literature and the arts to popular culture and everyday life, the Bible courses through black society and culture. Despite the enormous recent surge of interest in African American religion, scant attention has been paid to the diversity of ways in which African Americans have utilized the Bible. African Americans and the Bible is the fruit of a four-year collaborative research project directed by Vincent L. Wimbush and funded by the Lilly Endowment. It brings together scholars and experts (sixty-eight in all) from a wide range of academic and artistic fields and disciplines-including ethnography, cultural history, and biblical studies and also music, film, dance, drama, and literature. The book is less about the meaning(s) of the Bible than about the Bible and meaning(s), less about the world(s) of the Bible than about how worlds and the Bible interact-in short, about how a text constructs a people and a people construct a text. It is about a particular socio-cultural formation but also about the dynamics that occur in the interrelation between any group of people and sacred texts in general. African Americans and the Bible offers a critical lens through which the process of socio-cultural formation can be viewed.
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Vincent L. Wimbush is Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of Paul the Worldly Ascetic; editor of Ascetic Behavior in Greco-Roman Antiquity: A Sourcebook; Discursive Formations, Ascetic Piety, and The Interpretation of Early Christian Literature; and co-editor of Asceticism.Review:
"A broad-ranging exploration of the ways the African American group and the Bible have interacted in history and '(re)created' each other; it provides a thorough, multifaceted examination of this process in terms of cultural anthropology. It also hints at new critical parameters, like marronage, through which socio-cultural formation can be approached and assessed. A magnificent and inspiring collection, set in a lively perspective."-Geneviève E. Fabre, University of Paris
"Finally we have a resource that dismantles the sacred cows of modern biblical criticism and shows them for the intellectual idols that they are. Wimbush has brought together voices from diverse fields that correctly take African American biblical hermeneutics from the margin to the exegetical center. The field of biblical studies should closely reexamine itself in light of African Americans and the Bible. The implications for other ethnic groups are immense."-Thomas B. Slater, The University of Georgia
"African Americans and the Bible is a provocative and challenging work whose impact on Biblical studies promises to be universally transformative. By demonstrating how powerfully the African American reading context changes and enlivens the written word, this exciting collection strikes out against the scholarly preference for presenting the Bible as an ancient artifact whose meaning dies with the authors who penned it. In the probing hands of these authors, the Bible reclaims its power as a living force for liberation whose past witness continually transforms, redefines, and reshapes the present. A broad and rich accomplishment."-Brian K. Blount, Princeton Theological Seminary
"This rich collection places African American biblical interpretation squarely in the center of biblical interpretation. It is a landmark hermeneutical work that should help to set the focus in biblical scholarship for years to come. Vincent Wimbush's challenge, not to begin with sacred texts, but with 'worlds,' is a brilliant contribution to the ongoing paradigm shift in biblical studies. Required reading for anyone engaged in biblical, cultural, and theological studies."-Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Harvard Divinity School
"With this edited work, Vincent Wimbush establishes himself as the pioneering point man in a movement that will revitalize not only biblical studies but also scholarship and teaching in all fields of intellectual inquiry. His multidisciplinary approach is
"With the publication of African Americans and the Bible, new ground has been broken in the field of biblical hermeneutics and a treasure trove of answers has been uncovered, not just by one proponent or single voice but through a crescendo of many voices
"Generations of American students have been mislead by images and texts which present Christianity as a European phenomenon when it's quite likely that if some of the main biblical players appeared today they'd be subjected to racial profiling. The roots
"A major accomplishment...An excellent collection of socio-cultural essays; particularly strong on how story shapes identity." —The Living Church
"This wide-ranging collection reflects on how the Bible is interpreted in African American communities and how it has shaped the African American religious experience."—Interpretation, July 2001
"With all else that this momentous collection of essays offers us, it provides wholly convincing, even moving, documentation of how, against enormous odds, this difficult work was undertaken by a people and continues to go on. The reader emerges sober, I
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Book Description Continuum. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0826412939 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1368447