Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Decline of African American Theology

One book I'm really looking forward to reading is Thabiti Anyabwile's The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity. It's due out from IVP this winter.

IVP has posted some info on it:

About the Book

Who were Jupiter Hammon, Lemuel Haynes and Daniel Alexander Payne? And what do they have in common with Martin Luther King Jr., Howard Thurman and James Cone? All of these were African American Christian theologians, yet their theologies are, in many ways, worlds apart.

In this book, Thabiti Anyabwile offers a challenging and provocative assessment of the history of African American Christian theology, from its earliest beginnings to the present. He argues trenchantly that the modern fruit of African American theology has fallen far from the tree of its early predecessors. In doing so, Anyabwile closely examines the theological commitments of prominent African American theologians throughout American history. Chapter by chapter, he traces what he sees as the theological decline of African American theology from one generation to the next, concluding with an unflinching examination of several contemporary figures. Replete with primary texts and illustrations, this book is a gold mine for any reader interested in the history of African American Christianity. With a foreword by Mark Noll.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Mark Noll

1 "I Once Was Blind but Now I See": The Doctrine of Revelation in the African American Experience

2 "A Father to the Fatherless": The African American Doctrine of God

3 "Ain’t I a Man?" African American Anthropology

4 "What a Friend We Have in Jesus": The Christology of African Americans

5 "What Must I Do to Be Saved?" African American Soteriology

6 "Gettin’ in de Spirit": Pneumatology in the African American Experience


Reviews & Endorsements

"An impressive array of historical and theological reflections on the African American church's religious tradition. Anyabwile presents a cogent argument that places the demand on the church's leadership, its theologians and its laypeople to continually evaluate its biblical and theological foundations for both the church's self-understanding as the people of God, and its objectives as God's agents in the world."

—Bruce L. Fields, associate professor of biblical and systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and author of Black Theology: Three Crucial Questions for the Evangelical Church