Religion of the Field Negro: On Black Secularism and Black Theology by Vincent W. LloydReligion of the Field Negro: On Black Secularism and Black Theology by Vincent W. Lloyd

Religion of the Field Negro: On Black Secularism and Black Theology

byVincent W. Lloyd

Paperback | November 7, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$38.81 online 
$39.00 list price
Earn 194 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Black theology has lost its direction. To reclaim its original power and to advance racial justice struggles today black theology must fully embrace blackness and theology. But multiculturalism and religious pluralism have boxed in black theology, forcing it to speak in terms dictated by a power structure founded on white supremacy. In Religion of the Field Negro, Vincent W. Lloyd advances and develops black theology immodestly, privileging the perspective of African Americans and employing a distinctively theological analysis.

As Lloyd argues, secularism is entangled with the disciplining impulses of modernity, with neoliberal economics, and with Western imperialism - but it also contaminates and castrates black theology. Inspired by critics of secularism in other fields, Religion of the Field Negro probes the subtle ways in which religion is excluded and managed in black culture. Using Barack Obama, Huey Newton, and Steve Biko as case studies, it shows how the criticism of secularism is the prerequisite of all criticism, and it shows how criticism and grassroots organizing must go hand in hand. But scholars of secularism too often ignore race, and scholars of race too often ignore secularism. Scholars of black theology too often ignore the theoretical insights of secular black studies scholars, and race theorists too often ignore the critical insights of religious thinkers.

Religion of the Field Negro brings together vibrant scholarly conversations that have remained at a distance from each other until now. Weaving theological sources, critical theory, and cultural analysis, this book offers new answers to pressing questions about race and justice, love and hope, theorizing and organizing, and the role of whites in black struggle. The insights of James Cone are developed together with those of James Baldwin, Sylvia Wynter, and Achille Mbembe, all in the service of developing a political-theological vision that motivates us to challenge the racist paradigms of white supremacy.

Vincent Lloyd is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. His most recent books are Black Natural Law and a co-edited collection, Race and Secularism in America.
Title:Religion of the Field Negro: On Black Secularism and Black TheologyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pagesPublished:November 7, 2017Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:082327764X

ISBN - 13:9780823277643


Table of Contents


1: Cone
2: Baldwin
3: Mbembe
4: Derrida, Agamben, Wynter

5: What is Black Tradition?
6: What is Black Organizing?
7: For What Are Blacks to Hope?
8: For What Are Whites to Hope?

9: The Revelation of Race: On Steve Biko
10: The Racial Messiah: On Huey P. Newton
11: The Post-Racial Saint: On Barack Obama
12: The Race of the Soul: On Gillian Rose

Afterword: The Birth of the Black Church


Editorial Reviews

Religion of the Field Negro is an intellectual tour de force. Lloyd exercises a unique ability to bring conversational partners from diverse positions and discourses into dialogue so as to better obtain critical clarity on the future prospects and possibilities of black theology. He is intent on recovering the revolutionary goals of a black theology grounded in the lives, hopes, thoughts, and expressions of ordinary African Americans.