BLACK THEOLOGY: ITS CRITIQUE OF CLASSICAL OR SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY

PATRICK ANTHONY BASCIO, Fordham University

Abstract

The dissertation seeks to contribute to an appreciation for the validity and value of black theology as proposed and articulated by the leading black theologians in America.^ Black theology, as it has evolved in America, has its roots in ante-bellum slavery and the religious practices that developed within the slave system. Its development continued during the post-bellum period as Emancipation allowed blacks to found their own churches and to discard the religious facades acquired during slavery. Although the full rights of citizenship were not conferred, the black community did begin to practice a religion based on cultural and social customs rooted in their African past.^ Black theology considers itself a liberation theology and a theology in which political and social ideology is expressed and socio-political strategies are planned. It is a local theology in that its roots are in the black community and its experience from Africa, through slavery to modern ghetto America.^ Part One considers both the ideological and religious nature of black theology, tracing its roots and following its development to the late 19th Century, and justifying its self-characterization as a local theology with a specific ideological focus on what it means to be black and live in America.^ Part Two considers the source and content of black theology, emphasizing the manner in which it differs from classical theology in its theological emphasis, analyses, and methodology. The principal black theologians are considered and the ways in which they differ from each other as well as the specific contributions of each are delineated. The relationship between black theology and liberation theology is also considered.^ A critique of black theology is done, noting its specific contributions to American pluralism and American theology, especially in the area of human rights and the analysis and condemnation of racism. The fact that the development of black theology has taken place in an atmosphere of white theological skepticism is noted. And, finally, it is explained that the black church's disenchantment with black theology lies in its seeming inability to provide an alternative to the socio-economic problems found in the black community. ^

Subject Area

Theology

Recommended Citation

BASCIO, PATRICK ANTHONY, "BLACK THEOLOGY: ITS CRITIQUE OF CLASSICAL OR SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8709225.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8709225

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