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Black Lives and Sacred HumanityToward an African American Religious Naturalism$
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Carol Wayne White

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823269815

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823269815.001.0001

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Anna Julia Cooper: Relational Humanity and the Interplay of One and All

Anna Julia Cooper: Relational Humanity and the Interplay of One and All

(p.47) Chapter 3 Anna Julia Cooper: Relational Humanity and the Interplay of One and All
Black Lives and Sacred Humanity

Carol Wayne White

Fordham University Press

Chapter three introduces Cooper’s late nineteenth-century romanticized feminism, discussing her creative use of nature as a trope for inspiring the young American nation to transform itself of its racist and sexist practices and become the arena where all humans could flourish. It also discusses the theoretical underpinnings of Cooper’s expanded view of humanity, showing her points of convergence with Goethe’s philosophy of science and her vision of a communal ontology that is often a key idea within later developments in religious naturalism. Finally, this chapter shows that Cooper’s Romantic vision anticipated the capacious humanistic view associated with the concept of sacred humanity. As such, it contends that Cooper’s ideas of the creative interplay of the one and all provide a nice entry point for the African American intellectual trajectory that contributes to the later emergence of African American religious naturalism.

Keywords:   communal ontology, Anna Julia Cooper, feminism, Goethe, nature, one and all, Romanticism

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