The Tragic Vision of African American Religion

Hardcover | April 15, 2010

byMatthew V. Johnson

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This phenomenological analysis of African American religious subjectivity suggests the tragic, understood as an ontological category, as the seminal hermeneutical lens through which one can deepen one’s understanding of the experience and its theological implications. New insights garnered from this framework challenges many traditional theological assumptions leading to the decentralization of the resurrection as the key Christian symbol. Through the abstract African American longing, Johnson connects the resurrection and the cross in one dialectically constituted moment of a larger recalibration of Christian categories, which brings the “Second Coming” into new theological and philosophical prominence.

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This phenomenological analysis of African American religious subjectivity suggests the tragic, understood as an ontological category, as the seminal hermeneutical lens through which one can deepen one’s understanding of the experience and its theological implications. New insights garnered from this framework challenges many traditiona...

Matthew V. Johnson, Sr., is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Philosophical Theology from the University of Chicago. He has done post-graduate studies in Psychoanalysis and is currently a member in training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. In the ministry for ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.93 × 5.68 × 0.69 inPublished:April 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230618898

ISBN - 13:9780230618893

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Table of Contents

Introduction:  “Yet Do I Marvel” * Seeing Through the Dark:  Elements of the Tragic Vision * Sparagmous or “The Crucified” * A Look Beneath the Souls of Black Folk * Deep Calls Unto Deep: African American Christian Consciousness Pt.1 * Life Within the Veil: American Christian Consciousness Pt. 2 * From Strength to Strength: Toward a Theology of African American * Christian Consciousness * Epilogue: The Fate of Dionysius

Editorial Reviews

“Matthew V. Johnson is one of the most profound and prophetic voices of his generation. His book is a serious and substantive probing into the tragic character and content of African American religion – a creative transvaluation of the Christianity given to Black people. Don’t miss this powerful work!”--Cornel West, Princeton University“W.E.B. DuBois told us some time ago that the Atlantic slave trade ‘was a tragedy that beggared the Greeks.’ Matthew V. Johnson presents for the first time a systematic interpretation of the nature and meaning of the tragic vision expressed through the presence of African people in the United States. He opens the meaning of tragedy to its expression in performance, rhetoric, and to the discourses of philosophy and theology. This is unique among the many studies of African American religion.”--Charles H. Long, author of Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion“This is an inspirational book! Looking into, around, over, and beneath African American religious experiences and employing insights from modern psychology and philosophy, he provides a new perspective on black religion; he shows how, amid their sorrows and sadness, black men and women have created faith. From their tragic experiences, they found visions of God and community, visions that haunt and help everyday. This book allows us to understand the questioning faithful, those who sing despair with joy, and those who clap when they wish to cry. Without doubt, this is one of the finest meditations ever written on African American religion.”--Edward J. Blum, author of W. E. B. Du Bois, American Prophet“This book is an important and persuasive contribution showing how African American religious thought helps us to rethink the central question of tragedy's relationship to Christian theology.”--David Tracy, Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religions, The University of Chicago Divinity School“This book is a triumph of incisive thinking, probing analysis, and eloquent argument. Matthew V. Johnson is an important voice for our global postmodern blues and this book arrives at the right time. A must read.”--Robert M. Franklin, Ph.D.