Embodiment and the New Shape of Black Theological Thought

Embodiment and the New Shape of Black Theological Thought

by Anthony B. Pinn

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Black theology tends to be a theology about no-body. Though one might assume that black and womanist theology have already given significant attention to the nature and meaning of black bodies as a theological issue, this inquiry has primarily taken the form of a focus on issues relating to liberation, treating the body in abstract terms rather than focusing on the experiencing of a material, fleshy reality. By focusing on the body as a physical entity and not just a metaphorical one, Pinn offers a new approach to theological thinking about race, gender, and sexuality.
According to Pinn, the body is of profound theological importance. In this first text on black theology to take embodiment as its starting point and its goal, Pinn interrogates the traditional source materials for black theology, such as spirituals and slave narratives, seeking to link them to materials such as photography that highlight the theological importance of the body. Employing a multidisciplinary approach spanning from the sociology of the body and philosophy to anthropology and art history, Embodiment and the New Shape of Black Theological Thought pushes black theology to the next level.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814767757
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 06/07/2010
Series: Religion, Race, and Ethnicity , #7
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Anthony B. Pinn is Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University, where he also serves as the executive director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion. His books include Varieties of African-American Religious Experience, Why Lord?: Suffering and Evil in Black Theology, and By These Hands: A Documentary History of African-American Humanism (NYU Press, 2001).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Body Construction

1 Theological Posturing 17

2 Blackness and the Identifying of Bodies 35

3 What to Make of Gendered Bodies?: Addressing the Male Problem 53

4 Sex(uality) and the (Un)Doing of Bodies 71

Part 2 Bodies in Motion

5 Bodies as the Site of Religious Struggle: A Musical Mapping 101

6 On the Redemption of Bodies 123

7 Bodies in the World 143

Notes 159

Bibliography 185

Index 197

About the Author 205

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Pinn's reflective forays into and proposals for the study of embodiment in black theological thought constitute his most substantive work since his first book on the implications of theodicy for black theology... Pinn's great strength is to emphasize an aesthetic methodology. His most creative chapters elaborate on the theme of the body in black music—from spirituals and blues to rap, particularly in the contributions of Tupac Shakur."-CHOICE,

“Pinn is one of the grand philosophers wrestling with the problem of evil. This masterful and magisterial book confirms his deserved reputation.”
-Cornel West,Princeton University

“A challenging intellectual reflection on the development and future of a new black theological discourse, focusing on the black body.”
-James H. Cone,Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary

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