Academic journal article Theological Studies

The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology

Academic journal article Theological Studies

The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology

Article excerpt

The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology. Edited by Katie G. Cannon and Anthony B. Pinn. New York: Oxford University, 2014. Pp. 516. $150.

As part of a new initiative by Oxford University Press to offer state-of-the-art surveys in a particular subject area from leading international figures in the discipline, this volume meets that purpose and offers much more. It is also timely in the recent US context of persistent racial violence, the Black Lives Matter movement (founded by three African American women), and renewed interrogation of enduring white cultural dominance.

The work is well organized around five sections: sources, doctrines, internal debates, ongoing challenges, and prospects for the future. The 34 contributors include some of the most eminent African American scholars in the world. Editors Pinn and Cannon explain how the "academically informed enterprise" of African American theology emerged from churches in the midst of the struggles for Civil Rights in the 1960s, and show that this historical moment itself raises fundamental questions about the complexity and fluidity of African American culture and lives.

Stephen Finley opens a robust conversation about the contested historical context in which the formal discourse of African American theology emerged. …

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