What is the role of the public theologian in unveiling the racialized discourse of public theology itself?

Race needs no introduction in the Americas. It orchestrates us. It constrains us. It feeds the socio-political worlds we inhabit, create, undermine and support. In spite of all that it does to us and in spite of all we do with it, we are honestly still discovering what it is. Often times our definitions concerning that “it” is limited to the carnage it has caused. That is why this symposium very simply asks the question, what is the role of the political theologian in confronting race and/or white supremacy in our public discourse?” Or, alternatively, “What is the role of the public theologian in unveiling the racialized discourse of public theology itself?”

Justin E. Crisp, Amaryah Amrstrong and Wesley Morris each address the question through their own work and thought. Crisp in his reflection, “Not Light but Fire” examines racial undertones in the history of Christian theological thought. Armstrong in “Crisis, Conversion, Critique, or, Practicing Black Study Now: Against the Natural and the New” takes seriously careas a, and as the practice, of black study; and Morris, in his “Prisoners of Politics” meditates on prisoners within cells and those incarcerated standing “outside.”

 

Symposium Essays

Justin E. Crisp

Not Light but Fire

In a white supremacist culture, one crucial precondition of any true and faithful theological speech is repentance. True theology is not light but fire.

Amaryah Armstrong

Crisis, Conversion, Critique, or, Practicing Black Study Now: Against the Natural and the New

For it is only through understanding black culture as worthy of attention that we can feel it as worthy of enjoyment.

Prisoners of Politics

Churches are locally oriented and present to the concerns of everyday life in the community. As an institution it has been an organized center of everyday life for its membership.

Coming