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Religion of the Field NegroOn Black Secularism and Black Theology$
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Vincent W. Lloyd

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823277636

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823277636.001.0001

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For What Are Blacks to Hope?

For What Are Blacks to Hope?

(p.131) Chapter 7 For What Are Blacks to Hope?
Religion of the Field Negro

Vincent W. Lloyd

Fordham University Press

Recent theorizing in black studies, under the label Afro-pessimism, argues that hope for ending racial injustice is misguided. Racism is deeply woven into the metaphysics, or onto-theology, of the West—an argument that is made both through readings of philosophical texts and through empirical observation, contrasting the conditions faced by blacks with other ethnic groups. This challenge has not been substantially addressed by black theologians, who often romanticize the hope implicit in, for example, slave spirituals. This chapter points to theological responses to secularization as offering a model for black theological responses to racial injustice. According to Edward Schillebeeckx, secularization purged theology of false hopes while also orienting theologians to the future. This chapter explores what it might mean for Afro-pessimist insights to purge black theology of false hopes, and it asks what might remain of Christian hope after this purgation.

Keywords:   Afro-pessimism, black theology, hope, racism, Edward Schillebeeckx

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