By E. Kornegay
Kornegay's great and insightful use of James Baldwin's literary genius deals a manner ahead that delivers to beat the divide among faith and sexuality that's of the most important significance 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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Additional resources for A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose
49 Baldwin sums all of these up when he locates the blues at a point beyond “more than you can take . . ”50 The nonbourgeois, sensuous, and rejected nature of the black experience can only be expressed as blues: it “sums up the universal challenge, the universal hope, the universal fear . ”51 In the final analysis, the blues is a reflection of socio-sexual-religious black wholeness, which is the desired outcome of liberation. ”52 Sexual potential is the desire to explore sexual curiosity, erotic thoughts, and the sensuousness of the spirit.
58 Baldwin’s experience in the black Christian church exposes the real issue, which persists beneath the surface of black religion is its dependence on Protestant Puritanism, that makes it no more capable of offering human relief from danger than the Avenue. For many years, I could not ask myself why human relief had to be achieved in a fashion at once so pagan and so desperate – in a fashion at one so unspeakably old and so unutterably new. And by the time I was able to ask myself this question, I was also able to see that the principles governing the rites and customs of the churches in which I grew up did not differ from the principles governing the rites and customs of other churches, white.
This ontological concept of safety at play in Baldwin’s work means that it is prudent to identify Baldwin’s particular religious understanding of religion as something loaded with complicated and accumulated meaning—the living proof of inheritance—a birthright that only tradition itself could convey. As noted by Hans Gadamer, tradition as an effective historical force working at the subjective level, for example, intricate web of psychological forces, is a powerful force, especially when linked to the biblical text or other classics.
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