African American Religions Paper

African American Religions Paper - Essay #4 Ryan Neale Dr....

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Essay #4 Ryan Neale Dr. Murrell African American Religions Black Liberation Theology can be defined as the relationship that blacks have with god in their struggle to end oppression. It sees god as a god of history and the liberator of the oppressed from bondage. Black Liberation theology views God and Christianity as a gospel relevant to blacks who struggle daily under the oppression of whites. Because of slavery, blacks’ concept of God was totally different from the masters who enslaved them. White Christians saw god as more of a spiritual savior, the reflection of God for blacks came in the struggle for freedom by blacks. Although the term black liberation theology is a fairly new, becoming popular in the early 1960’s with Black Theology and Black Power, a book written by James H. Cone, its ideas are pretty old, which can be clearly seen in spirituals sang by Africans during the time of slavery nearly 400 years ago. It was through these hymns that black liberation spawned. Although Cone is given credit for “the discovery of black liberation theology,” it’s beliefs can quite clearly be seen in the efforts of men like preacher Nat Turner and his rebellion of slavery in mid 1800’s or Marcus Garvey, one of the first men to “see god through black spectacles” in the early 1900’s. More recently black theology emerged as a formal discipline. Beginning with the "black power" movement in 1966, black clergy in many major denominations began to reassess the relationship of the Christian church to the black community. Black caucuses developed in the Catholic, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches. "The central thrust of these new groups was to redefine the meaning and role of the church and religion in the lives of black people. Out of this reexamination has come what some have called Black Theology. Although closely related and often confused with black power, the two differ in concepts. While black power focuses on the political, social, and economic condition of black people, Black Theology sees black identity from a theological context. Much of black liberation theology’s foundation comes from God's deliverance of Israel from oppression under the Egyptians. According to James Cone, “the consistent theme in Israelite prophecy is Yahweh's concern for "the lack of social, economic, and political justice for those who are poor and unwanted in the society." The dominate view of Black Liberation theologians is “God in action, delivering the oppressed because of His righteousness. He is to be seen, not in the transcendent way of Greek philosophy, but immanent, among His people." God is "immanent” because he is present in many historical moments that focus on liberation of the poor. Its derives it beliefs from the fact that in the bible, God often enters human affairs and takes the side of the
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2008 for the course PAR 377 taught by Professor Murrell during the Spring '08 term at University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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African American Religions Paper - Essay #4 Ryan Neale Dr....

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