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Black Liberation Theology

Powerful Essays
Black Liberation Theology can be defined as the relationship that blacks have with god in their struggle to end oppression. It sees god as a god of history and the liberator of the oppressed from bondage. Black Liberation theology views God and Christianity as a gospel relevant to blacks who struggle daily under the oppression of whites. Because of slavery, blacks concept of God was totally different from the masters who enslaved them. White Christians saw god as more of a spiritual savior, the reflection of God for blacks came in the struggle for freedom by blacks. Although the term black liberation theology is a fairly new, becoming popular in the early 1960’s with Black Theology and Black Power, a book written by James H. Cone, its ideas are pretty old, which can be clearly seen in spirituals sang by Africans during the time of slavery nearly 400 years ago.# It was through these hymns that black liberation spawned. Although Cone is given credit for “the discovery of black liberation theology,” it’s beliefs can quite clearly be seen in the efforts of men like preacher Nat Turner and his rebellion of slavery in mid 1800’s or Marcus Garvey, one of the first men to “see god through black spectacles” in the early 1900’s. More recently black theology emerged as a formal discipline. Beginning with the "black power" movement in 1966, black clergy in many major denominations began to reassess the relationship of the Christian church to the black community. Black caucuses developed in the Catholic, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches. "The central thrust of these new groups was to redefine the meaning and role of the church and religion in the lives of black people. Out of this reexamination has come what some have called Bla...

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...ans had for generations practiced and defended not just slavery, but the hatred and demise of anything black or African. Cone's mission was to bring blackness and Christianity together.”# In 1969, Cone published Black Theology and Black Power. In this book, Cone brought attention to racism in theology and proposes a theology addressing black issues, this theology would provide liberation and empowerment of blacks and “create a new value structures so that our understanding of blackness will not depend upon European misconceptions.”# From these convictions, the idea of black liberation theology was created. Black relate Christianity to the struggles they have endured, therefore it has to be black. “In a society where men are defined on the basis of color of the victims, proclaiming that the condition of the poor is incongruous with him who has come to liberate us.”
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