Black Theologies, and According to Whom?

I haven’t gotten to the end of this essay yet, but in the first portion of the essay Dorrien has provided a readable account of Black theology in the US that’s unusually acute and sympathetic (for popular white-folks media). Regrettably, the article [so far] shows no attention to Black theology outwith the US — understandable to an extent (written for a mostly US audience, about a US theologian/politician), but still revealing a persistent problem in current theology.

Of course people who experienced different textures of oppression from various white-dominant cultures will articulate different responses — yes, yes! But I’m still impatient to see the fulness of an ascendant Black theology that joins up US, UK, and indeed global Black theologies.

I suspect that Dorrien’s treatment of Cone reflects internal stresses at Union; while Cone can be criticised, Dorrien positions his authorial self as an impartial but sympathetic (‘He was my closest friend at Union’ — does this trope not ring at least a little tinny to anyone else’s ears?) observer, who can see what [he takes to be] Cone’s narrow view missed. I’m cautious about accepting Dorrien’s perspective at face value, and inclined to give a more positive reading of Cone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *