Black Theology Saved The World Once, And It Can Do It Again

Yes, I’m being a little facetious, but not much.

All the talk of authoritarianism has me thinking about Bonhoeffer.

Most people who know something about Bonhoeffer know that he spent time in New York as a student at Union Theological Seminary. Many may even know that he attended Abyssinian Baptist Church–pastored at the time by Adam Clayton Powell, Sr.

I’m guessing far fewer know that Bonhoeffer taught Sunday School there.

There’s something to this, I think.

Black theology (or any theology of the oppressed, really) strikes a balance between the personal and the systemic sin in a way that liberal theology doesn’t (and Bonhoeffer had real critiques of liberal theology). Bonfoeffer took what he learned at Abyssinian and built the underground seminary that shaped the religious dissenters of the Nazis.

So…with all the talk about authoritarianism, maybe it would do the so-called resistance good to do what Bonhoeffer did; spend some time steeping themselves in the theology (and pedagogy, to borrow from Freire) of the oppressed.

Black theology saved the world once, and it can do it again. If the resistance pays attention.

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