By E. Kornegay
Kornegay's magnificent and insightful use of James Baldwin's literary genius bargains a fashion ahead that can provide to beat the divide among faith and sexuality that's of an important value not just for black church and theology yet for socio-political-religious and theological discourse generally.
Read or Download A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose PDF
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Extra info for A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose
Baldwin sees this Christianity exemplified linguistically in the puritanical ideal of America that “considered black people to be less human than [white Christians]” in the Calvinist scheme of divine election in which the “kingdom of heaven . . ”1 Baldwin’s rhetorical treatment of Christianity is twofold: it is allegorical and it is a form of Signifyin(g). 2 Signifying can be defined on three levels. ”5 In the act of signifying, Baldwin exposes the contradictions between the profession of Christian love and justice for all and the Christian practice of hate and injustice against black bodies.
Allegory defends against and liberates us from remaining permanently bound to metaphoric likenesses, which oppress physical expression and spiritual experience. This is a form of consciousness (allegorical) that accounts for the physical, the spiritual, and the pasts that hold it captive. 87 Second, what is the defense? Referring to the use of Joban allegory, Jeremy Marousis-Bush says that “anyone who has been raised in a strict Christian, bible-based environment” could easily make allegorical connections between the trouble in their lives and religious belief.
Baldwin notes that black people’s attempt to use “Christianity to meet the needs of his brutal situation . . was a disaster. In no way whatever has it replaced . . ”37 What was the destroyed is the gateway from black depravity to black liberation, which is the use of the blues in the church. Kelly Brown Douglas’s use of a blues methodology is quite helpful here. ”39 She argues that the nonbourgeois body represents the black underclass. In a similar fashion to Baldwin, Brown Douglas suggests that blues “is more than a music form; it is a story of black living.