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Contesting Post-RacialismConflicted Churches in the United States and South Africa$
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R. Drew Smith, William Ackah, Anthony G. Reddie, and Rothney S. Tshaka

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628462005

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628462005.001.0001

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date: 15 August 2018

Shape-Shifting: Cultural Hauntings, Contested Post-Racialism, and Black Theological Imagination

Shape-Shifting: Cultural Hauntings, Contested Post-Racialism, and Black Theological Imagination

Chapter:
(p.37) Shape-Shifting: Cultural Hauntings, Contested Post-Racialism, and Black Theological Imagination
Source:
Contesting Post-Racialism
Author(s):

Walter Earl Fluker

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628462005.003.0002

This chapter proposes a reconfigured Black Theology based on the contemporary context of the Black Church in the US in a contested post-racial, post-American world. In that context, Black churches are besieged by the “cultural hauntings” of race, in all of its shifting shapes and reinventions. This reference to shape-shifting is a form of critical signification on Black Church traditions. Historically, the Black Church has taken its metaphors, its parody and transformation of Western stories and ideas too literally and has mistaken these rhetorical devices for preordained things, essences. Shape-shifting is a form of postmodern self-reflexive critique of all signs which claim to be Absolute, including race, blackness, and theological metaphors. The chapter recommends, therefore, that the Black Church remain open to revisability of language and remember its own tradition of shape-shifting, signifying, reinterpreting in preaching, liturgy, and playing on words.

Keywords:   Black Theology, Black Church, post-racial, racism, culture

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