By E. Kornegay
Kornegay's marvelous and insightful use of James Baldwin's literary genius deals a fashion ahead that grants to beat the divide among faith and sexuality that's of the most important significance not just for black church and theology yet for socio-political-religious and theological discourse generally.
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Additional info for A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose
In this chapter, I write about James Baldwin’s use of the blues as a model of sexualized discourse. This chapter explains how Baldwin’s use of the blues can be used to liberate black bodies from the psychological trap of black oppression: the collision between the metaphorical images (of blackness) created by Protestant Puritan ideology, Christianity, and black bodies. James’s Gospel Prose: Signifying Christianity Based on the religious and theological perspectives arising from Baldwin’s understanding, what is Christianity?
By signifying on religion and Christianity Baldwin reveals that the social and spiritual conditions of black bodies, black life, black faith, the black church, and the black community are controlled by the language of puritanism: the psychological collision between the images created by Protestant Puritan ideology and black bodies. Baldwin’s signifying deftly brackets the puritanical and Calvinistic principles shaping the morals and ethics of the black church, which gives more clarity to the connection between Christianity and the psychological collision between puritan ideology and black bodies.
One is born in a white country, a white Protestant Puritan country, where one was once a slave, where all the standards and all the images . . 53 Finally, the puritan influence on religious interpretation is a hermeneutic of “conquest and suppression” concealed behind a veil of noble religious motivations, for example, slave conversions, which hides the fact that it is accountable for interpretations of black bodies that are disingenuous and oppressive. 54 Baldwin’s work represents a hermeneutical break with puritan religious mythology and the black religious response to it.