Cover, Series Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 1-9

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

Writing is at root a solitary undertaking. But it is greatly aided by the support, honest input, and constructive criticisms of colleagues, family, and friends. That is why I am so very grateful for the many people who have helped to make this a stronger project and with small and sometimes random acts of kindness and grace ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

What is the true nature and mission of the church? As a community formed in memory of Jesus Christ and informed by the gospels, what is it that makes it a faithful and authentic witness, and what exactly is it called to do? Indeed, all Christian communities must ask and try to answer that question. ...

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1. The Gospel of Liberation: Black Christian Resistance Prior to Black Theology

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pp. 13-52

The black church was born fighting for freedom. That fact is evidenced by the resistance and testimony of slaves,1 signified in the oppositional witness of pioneers of the independent black church movement,2 and confirmed by the work of scholars across disciplines.3 ...

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2. The Gospel’s Meaning and the Black Church’s Mission

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pp. 53-74

Observing, in the light of history and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s movement, the marked differences between the social agenda and overall religious orientation of white churches and black churches, Joseph Washington dared in a 1963 essay to ask, “Are American Negro Churches Christian?” ...

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3. Black Theologians on the Mission of the Black Church

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pp. 75-116

Black theology emerged as the last of four critical moments in the black church’s apprehension of a holistically salvific faith, one providing principled Christian resistance to racism. It represented a new and self-conscious form of God-talk, a sophisticated apologia for a faith formed in slavery and in defense of a black liberationist trajectory ...

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4. Black Pastors on the Mission of the Black Church

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pp. 117-152

In the complex historical narrative of black religion in America, the emergence of black theology represented a new moment — a fourth moment — in the development of an antiracist and holistically salvific appropriation of Christian faith. Drawing insight from both the strengths and limitations of the preceding three, ...

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5. Womanist Theologians on the Mission of the Black Church

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pp. 153-172

The analysis put forth thus far has consisted of an examination of black theology’s unique contribution to a long and ongoing discussion regarding the mission of the black church. As we have endeavored to build on a historical interpretation and heuristic framework, outlined in chapter 1, the preceding chapter examined varying pastoral responses ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 173-190

The relationship between black theology and the black church — and concomitantly the state of their dialogue regarding the latter’s mission — has not improved since the issue was first raised in the mid 1970s.1 Indeed, with the rising media presence and political influence of an uncritical white evangelicalism, biblical fundamentalism, ...

Notes

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pp. 191-230

Bibliography

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pp. 231-250

Index

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pp. 251-262

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About the Author

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pp. 263-278

The Reverend Dr. Raphael G. Warnock serves as Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church (Atlanta, Georgia), spiritual home of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is a native of Savannah, Georgia. ...