Black Theology

This is an introductory Reader’s Guide to Black Theology. The term is defined here as Christian theology by or about people who identify as Black, African, Caribbean, Womanist, African-American, or any other related identity markers. The opinions and goals in this body of literature are varied, and there is no single theological representative to rule them all. The purpose of this list is to provide resources that speak from a particular social location and that will contribute to becoming more well-read in this broad area of theological reflection.

  1. Adamo, David T. Reading and Interpreting the Bible in African Indigenous Churches. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2001.
  2. Adeymo, Tokunboh, ed. Africa Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.
  3. Africa Bible Commentary Series
  4. Andria, Solomon. Romans. Africa Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.
  5. Bailey, Randall C. “How Did We Get Reduced to a Parenthesis?” Black Theology 4 (2006): 107-15.
  6. Bailey, Randall C., ed. Yet with a Steady Beat: Contemporary U.S. Afrocentric Biblical Interpretation. Semeia Studies. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2003.
  7. Bailey, Randall C. ed. The Recovery of Black Presence: An Interdisciplinary Exploration. Essays in Honor of Dr. Charles B. Copher. Nashville: Abingdon, 1995.
  8. Bailey, Randall C. and Tina Pippin, eds. Race, Class, and the Politics of Bible Translation. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996.
  9. Black Theology: An International Journal
  10. Blount, Brian K., ed. True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary.  Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007.
  11. Bowens, Lisa M. African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020.
  12. Braxton, Brad Ronnell. No Longer Slaves: Galatians and African American Experience. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002.
  13. Cone, James H. and Gayraud Wilmore, eds. Black Theology: A Documentary History: 1966-1979 and 1980-1993. 2 vols. Maryknoll, Orbis, 1993.
  14. Cone, James, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2011.
  15. ———-. Risks of Faith: The Emergence of a Black Theology of Liberation, 1968-1998. Boston: Beacon, 1999.
  16. ———-. A Black Theology of Liberation. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1970.
  17. ———-. Black Theology & Black Power. New York: Harper & Row, 1969.
  18. Ellis, Carl. Free at Last? The Gospel in the African American Experience. 2nd edition.Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996. 1st edition published under the title, Beyond Liberation. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1983.
  19. Emerson, Michael O. and Christian Smith. Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America. Revised. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  20. Evans, James H. We Have Been Believers: An African American Systematic Theology. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012.
  21. Felder, Cain Hope, ed. Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.
  22. Gerbner, Katherine, Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in a Protestant Atlantic World. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania, 2018.
  23. Hart, Drew G.I., Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism. Harrisonburg, Virginia: Herald, 2016.
  24. Hayes, Diana L. And Still We Rise: An Introduction to Black Liberation Theology. New York: Paulist, 1996.
  25. Hopkins, Dwight N. Introducing Black Theology of Liberation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1999.
  26. Hopkins, Dwight N. and Edward P. Antonio, The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  27. Jagessar, Michael N. and Anthony G. Reddie. Black Theology in Britain: A Reader. Cross Cultural Theologies. Philadelphia: Routledge, 2007.
  28. Jennings, Willie James. The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2011.
  29. Kantangole, Emmanuel. Born from Lament: The Theology and Politics of Hope in Africa. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017.
  30. ———-. The Sacrifice of Africa: A Political Theology for Africa. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.
  31. King, Martin Luther, Jr. Why We Can’t Wait. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.
  32. Mathews, Mary Beth. Doctrine and Race: African American Evangelicals and Fundamentalism between the Wars. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 2017.
  33. Masenya, Madipoane (ngwan’a Mphahlele), How Worthy is the Woman of Worth? Rereading Proverbs 31:10-31 in African South Africa. Bible and Theology in Africa 4. New York: Peter Lang, 2004.
  34. Mburu, Elizabeth. African Hermeneutics. Nigeria: HippoBooks, 2019. Mbuvi, Andrew M. “African Biblical Studies: An Introduction to an Emerging Discipline” Currents in Biblical Research 15 (2017): 149-178.
  35. McCaulley, Esau. Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation and an Exercise in Hope. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2020.
  36. McCormack, Michael Brandon. “Black Theology.” Oxford Bibliographies. 2016. Online: https://www.oxfordbibliographies.
  37. Mosala, Itumeleng. Biblical Hermeneutics and Black Theology in South Africa. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989.
  38. Ngewa, Samuel M. 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. Africa Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.
  39. ———-. Galatians. Africa Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010. 
  40. Oden, Thomas C. How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2007.
  41. Page, Hugh R., Jr., ed. The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the Africa Diaspora. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009.
  42. Perkins, John. One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love. Chicago: Moody, 2018.
  43. Perkins, John. Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2017.
  44. Powery, Emerson B. and Rodney S. Sadler, Jr. The Genesis of Liberation: Biblical Interpretation in the Antebellum Narratives of the Enslaved. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2016.
  45. Powery, Emerson B. “African American Criticism.” Pages 236-349 in Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation. Edited by Joel B. Green. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010.
  46. Raboteau, Al. Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  47. Reddie, Anthony, ed. Black Theology, Slavery and Contemporary Christianity: 200 Years and No Apology. Philadelphia: Routledge, 2010.
  48. Rice, Gene. Africa and the Bible: Corrective Lenses – Critical Essays. Edited by Alice Ogden Bellis. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2019.
  49. Sadler, Rodney S., Jr. Can A Cushite Change His Skin? An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Othering in the Hebrew Bible. The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies. New York: T&T Clark, 2009.
  50. Smith, Christian and Michael Emerson. Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  51. Tamfu, Dieudonné. 2 Peter & Jude. Africa Bible Commentary.Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2018.
  52. Tisby, Jemar. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019.
  53. Wallis, Jim. America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2016.
  54. West, Cornel. Race Matters. 25th anniversary edition with a new introduction.Boston: Beacon, 2017.
  55. Wimbush, Vincent L., ed. African American and the Bible: Sacred Texts and Social Textures. New York: Continuum, 2001.
  56. Yamauchi, Edwin M. Africa and the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004.
  57. Wilmore Gayraud S. Pragmatic Spirituality: The Christian Faith Through an Afrocentric Lens. New York: New York University Press, 2004.

*This page is a work in progress and will continue to be developed. It is being published now in an effort to collaborate with students and colleagues. If you have suggestions for resources that belong on this page, please leave them in a comment below.

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