- Term Papers and Free Essays

Black Religion

Essay by   •  November 9, 2010  •  1,597 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,303 Views

Essay Preview: Black Religion

Report this essay
Page 1 of 7

The development of Black Theology in the United was one that shocked the nation as a whole. While in slavery, Blacks had to sneak and hold church services. This was partly because Whites felt that Blacks were not able to be accepted into heaven, and they believed that once one as a Christian they could no longer be enslaved. So to appease their conscience they would not allow Blacks to take part in theology. Due to these issues Black Theology soon originated within the United States.

The origination of Black Theology was only cracked open by the idea of slave theology. The origination of Black Theology first began when churches began to become segregated. Many could not understand how Whites could continue to behave this way in the Lords house. It was soon realized that this was because according to them their God allowed segregation. The Whites even went on to say that biblical figures had slaves. Many, such as Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey, who is regarded as “the apostle of Black Theology” in the United States, Howard Thurman, and Martin Luther King all contributed to the cause of Black liberation and theology throughout black history. Due to these men Black Theology emerged as a formal discipline. Many black clergy were apart of the “Black Power” movement in 1966. Black Theology began to originate when it was realized that a new staring point was needed in theology. It was realized that just as everything else had been taught incorrect so had Biblical history. James Cone is accredited as the most prolific and sophisticated write of the new Black Theology. Black Theology was developed by early theologians because Black people needed something to believe in and give them help in times of need. The idea of Black Theology did just as it set out to do.

Black Theology showed them that God was concerned with the least of the least and poorest of the poor.

The idea of Black Theology was to redefine the meaning and role of church and religion in the lives of Black people. The theology of Blacks came to be because of racism, injustice, inhumanity, and inequality. Black Theology was created out of a liberal struggle for political freedom and of the development by the black religious experience.

Throughout the development of Black Theology and the black church a sensitive topic has risen. Many feel that there is a large amount of sexuality throughout the black church. Four hundreds of years a major discussion raised among people has been the issue of sexuality as well as the black church, furthermore the combined idea of sexuality in the black church. Many theologians as well as philosophers have tried to grasp and place meaning to the connection that exist as well as the problem within sexuality in the black church. Blacks are known as sexual beings so obviously one would assume that there is an association of sexuality in the African church. This idea is even seen in a black church worship experience. In a black worship experience the pastor is seen as a “ministerial Casanova” who sends ambivalent messages to the congregation speaking the ills of adulterous relationships. But then he proceeds to pursue a relationship with one of the congregation members. Many argue that we need to recover erotic uses our black bodies. In the book Sexuality and the Black Church written by Kelly Douglas Brown, she exposes white cultures abuse of and dependence of black sexuality. Brown views the original roots of Christianity. Although throughout her book she examines the world views, conceptual systems and the way of life Douglas still leaves weaknesses in her book Sexuality and the Black Church.

Kelly Douglas Brown exposes white cultures dependence on and abuse of black sexuality to maintain racist control. The historical depictions of black bodies show that during and after slavery, blacks resisted negative views of their sexuality. Black women for example, resisted sexual domination by abortion, abstinence, and infanticide. This depicts the idea of “white pleasure.” A very significant mode of resistance came through participation in the black religion despite that fact that the black churches often began with a very conservative sexual theology. Whites continue to depend on blacks, but yet at the same time abuse them. White men view black men as the sexual beings who are well endowed. They want to be this, but still despise and discourage blacks. Is it that they do not understand black sexuality, nor do they even desire to understand. Black sexuality is a being. Whites have taken sexuality and turned it into something that is frowned upon. There is a split between mind and body that leads to confused black Christians. Black Christians are confused because whites are constantly taking black theology and misunderstanding what it truly is. There is a pattern for the reunion of the mind- body split which is found even in black music as well as the black church. There should be a reunion of sexually and spiritually in the black worship experience.

Douglas also exposes stereotypes that surround black sexuality in order to illustrate the white attack the bounds black sexuality. She discusses the stereotype that black men are violent and that black women are ladies of the night. Kelly speaks of the duality in terms of black male homicide and black female teen pregnancy. The both of these are products of a sort of bodily hatred or self-hatred that often informs the African American experience. Black women allow their bodies to be used as incubators for children. The mind body dualism is part of the black existence. According to Douglas, it is the Black Church’s job to convey to its children that



Download as:   txt (9.2 Kb)   pdf (113.4 Kb)   docx (12 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 11). Black Religion. Retrieved 11, 2010, from

"Black Religion" 11 2010. 2010. 11 2010 <>.

"Black Religion.", 11 2010. Web. 11 2010. <>.

"Black Religion." 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010.