Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering

Paperback | March 12, 2014

byJackson, Sherman A.

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In his controversial 1973 book, Is God a White Racist?, William R. Jones sharply criticized black theologians for their agnostic approach to black suffering, noting that the doctrine of an ominibenevolent God poses very significant problems for a perennially oppressed community. He proposed a"humanocentric theism" which denies God's sovereignty over human history and imputes autonomous agency to humans. By rendering humans alone responsible for moral evil, Jones's theology freed blacks to revolt against the evil of oppression without revolting against God. Sherman Jackson now places Jones's argument in conversation with the classical schools of Islamic theology. The problem confronting the black community is not simply proving that God exists, says Jackson. The problem, rather, is establishing that God cares. No religious expression that fails totackle the problem of black suffering can hope to enjoy a durable tenure in the black community. For the Muslim, therefore, it is essential to find a Quranic/Islamic grounding for the protest-oriented agenda of black religion. That is the task Jackson undertakes in this pathbreaking work. Jackson's previous book, Islam and the Blackamerican (OUP 2006) laid the groundwork for this ambitious project. Its sequel, Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering, solidifies Jackson's reputation as the foremost theologian of the black American Islamic movement.

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In his controversial 1973 book, Is God a White Racist?, William R. Jones sharply criticized black theologians for their agnostic approach to black suffering, noting that the doctrine of an ominibenevolent God poses very significant problems for a perennially oppressed community. He proposed a"humanocentric theism" which denies God's so...

Sherman A. Jackson is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Michigan.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:March 12, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199368015

ISBN - 13:9780199368013

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Table of Contents

IntroductionWilliam R. Jones and Challenge of Black TheodicyThe Perduring Problem of Blackness: Beyond Ontological Suffering1. The Formative Development of Classical Muslim TheologyThe Arabians and Atheological "Peripheral Vision"Muhammad b. Idres al-Shaffi and the Arabian Versus Arab Regime of SenseTraditionalism and Rationalism: The Rhetoric of Transcendence and the False Detente2. Mu'tazilism and Black TheodicyEarly Development and Basic Contours of Mu'tazilite TheologyRelevant Details of Mu'tazilite TheologyMu'tazilism and Jones3. Ash'arism and Black TheodicyEarly Development and Basic Contours of Ash'arite TheologyRelevant Details of Ash'arite TheologyAsh'arism and Jones4. Mafturdism and Black TheodicyEarly Development and Basic Contours of Mafturdite TheologyRelevant Details of Mafturdite TheologyMafturdism and Jones5. Traditionalism and Black TheodicyEarly Development and Basic Contours of TraditionalismRelevant Details of Tradtionalist TheologyTraditionalism and JonesConclusionNotesBibliography