Understanding & Transforming the Black Church

Understanding & Transforming the Black Church

by Anthony B. Pinn

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What is the nature and purpose of the Black Church? What is the relationship of the scholar of religion to the Black Church? While black churches have been a major component of the religious landscape of African American communities for centuries, little critical attention has been given to these questions outside an apologetic stance. This book seeks to correct this trend by examining some of the major issues facing black churches in the twenty-first century. From a challenge to traditional ways of addressing sexism within black churches to African American Christianity's relationship to popular culture, this set of reflections seeks to offer new perspectives on what it might mean to be Black and Christian in the United States.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556353017
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 12/30/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 166
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Anthony B. Pinn is Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. He is also the executive director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion. Pinn is the author/editor of eighteen books.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xiii

Part I Understanding the Black Church

1 Who Are the People in the Pews? Black Theology on Black Bodies ... in Church 3

2 (Un)Churched: Scholars of the Black Church and What They Are Allowed to Say 23

3 The Parameters of the Black Church: Lessons from an Extreme Case 36

Part II Transforming the Black Church

4 Si(g)nful: Presenting the People in the Pews 65

5 Mishaps and Wrong Turns ... but Always in Your Best Interest: Theodicy Reconsidered 81

6 Hitting Where It Hurts: Rethinking Protest against Gender Bias in Black Churches 95

7 Concluding Thoughts: New Possibilities for the Black Church 122

Bibliography 133

Index 143

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Anthony Pinn's volume seeks to critically understand and sympathetically transform the Black Church. Carrying on in the tradition of William R. Jones, Pinn's perspective on the Black Church is suspicious, loving, critical, committed, exasperating, and exhilarating. One may not always agree with his conclusions, but one cannot ignore his penchant for ferreting out the truth. This book is a passionate yet balanced argument which must be heard by anyone who is interested in the future of the black church."

—James H. Evans Jr.

Robert K. Davies Professor of Systematic Theology

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

"Pinn is required reading in every Black Church Studies department and theological curriculum that seeks self-understanding, healing, and transformation; and an indispensable interlocutor in the broader public conversation about the American dilemma and its democratic possibilities."

—Walter Earl Fluker

Coca-Cola Professor of Leadership Studies

Morehouse College

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