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The Lost Gospel: Christianity and Blacks in North America

Article excerpt

Jerome Teelucksingh, The Lost Gospel: Christianity and Blacks in North America (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), 162 pp. Paper. £34.99. ISBN 978-1-4438-1635-9.

Jerome Teelucksingh's The Lost Gospel offers an in-depth critical analysis of the role that Christianity and its institutions played in the acculturation and integration of blacks in Canada in the nineteenth century. Readers familiar with the ways escaped slaves utilized the Underground Railroad to seek refuge in the United States will find it interesting that Teelucksingh emphasizes how Canadian churches were an important conduit for American blacks who migrated north. The author outlines the migration patterns of black Americans fleeing slavery and repression in the United States by seeking refuge in Canada.

Teelucksingh provides a detailed analysis of the close relationship between the Church and educational opportunities for blacks in Canada. He suggests that education was the key component enabling blacks to successfully establish and develop their own churches and hence facilitate their integration and assimilation into Canadian society. He credits the Methodist and Baptist denominations as the most common among blacks in Canada and suggests that black leadership in these churches contributed to the growth of their black constituencies and therefore an increase in the number of educated black migrants. Later, Teelucksingh further emphasizes the critical role black church leaders played in constructing particularly racialized theologies which emerged in their institutions and the regional networks of black-led churches which collaborated to quickly spread their particular notions of freedom and salvation.

Teelucksingh offers expansive, thorough portraits of a number of different Christian churches and makes connections between religiosity as an important factor in black abolitionist thought in Canada and its connections to religious traditions in the United States. …