Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., New York Seminary professor and author, will be in Atlanta to discuss his controversial new book, The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted. The book provides an historical analysis of how Jesus, a first century revolutionary, became a “meek and mild servant of the status quo” and offers a critical look at modern politicians “of faith.” Jon Meacham, author of “American Gospel: God, The Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation,” declared The Politics of Jesus to be “essential reading for Americans…”

Hendricks, an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will give a public talk and sign books on Monday, November 13, 2006 at 7 pm at Paschal’s Restaurant on 180 Northside Drive, NW Atlanta, GA 30313. Joining him in the discussion, “The Politics of Jesus: Prophecy or Prosperity?” are Bishop John Hurst Adams, retired prelate of the A.M.E. Church, Candler School of Theology professor, Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr., Dr. Rosetta E. Ross, chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Spelman College and the Reverend Raphael G. Warnock, Ph.D., pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. For further information, about Dr. Obery Hendricks and “The Politics of Jesus,” please contact Rudy Faust at (212) 782-9798.

For more information about this event, please contact Kathryn V. Stanley at (404) 226-7076. A flyer is also attached.


I’m a black female religious scholar, but I’m not sure I’m a womanist. I was a black feminist before I heard of “womanist.” I discovered black feminists in college when studying the black arts movements of the 1970s. I identified black feminism with the 1970s—black power, poetry, literature, and defiance.

In my eyes, black feminists were radical, fire-eating, justice-loving, law-defying women. Later in my college career, I came to the term womanist through hterature. While writing a paper on Their Eyes Were Watching God, I read Alice Walker’s essays about recovering Zora Neale Hurston. I appreciated and related
to Walker’s quest for a role model: “I write all the things I should have been able to read.”‘

I later learned of the womanist movement in religious scholarship. While looking for religious themes in black women’s writings, I came across Katie G. Cannon’s Black Womanist Ethics (1988). It was the first time I read about black women’s literature from the perspective of a religious scholar. As a result of Cannon’s work and that of otlier womanists, I never once doubted that I could have a place in religious scholarship. I never felt the pain that no one was talking about my experience, my literature, or my role models. I know that the first generation of omanist religious scholars worked hard to create a world where a young woman could have this kind of experience. They gave me the experience they wanted to have; the experience they should have been able to have.

For this, I am grateful beyond words, and I think of them as my godmothers. They mothered me into the academic study of God…

Continued at monicaacoleman.com.

Is the US war in Iraq creating religious schism in the cradle of civilization?


Religious clash in Ethiopian town
Five people have been killed in western Ethiopia in violence between Christians and Muslims. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6053826.stm

Five people have been killed in western Ethiopia in violence between Christians and Muslims.
It is the latest in a series of religious clashes near the town of Jimma, around 450 km (280 miles) from the capital, Addis Ababa.

Last month 10 people were killed and more injured in four days of fighting between rival religious groups.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed in the violence, as well as three religious centres.
Federal Police spokesman Demsashe Hailu confirmed the five deaths over the weekend.
“The crisis was touched off by [a] few individuals who were attempting to create discord between the people of Jimma by using religion for their cheap political ends,” Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

Police had made several arrests and were searching for more suspects, Mr Demsashe said.
Aid workers said trouble had been brewing in the area for some time, the BBC’s Amber Henshaw reports.

Reports suggest the situation got out of control when Christians wanted to celebrate a religious holiday and local Muslims tried to stop them.

The violence between Christians and Muslims will come as a shock to many Ethiopians, our correspondent adds.

The two faiths normally live harmoniously side by side, but local analysts believe this could now be changing as a result of the war in Iraq and the conflict in Somalia.

There’s been a real movement led by ministers like G. Craig Lewis of Ex-Ministries to attack hip-hop as a demonic force that destroys the lives of young people all over the world. Lewis is particularly disturbed with “Christian hip-hop” artists who try to “co-opt” hip-hop, for (as he sees it) “holiness” and “godlessness” don’t mix.

Despite Lewis’ claims and the title of this Christian Science Monitor report, the church hasn’t “co-opted” hip-hop at all. Instead, according to pioneer Kurtis Blow, hip-hop was sent by God as the paraclete, the advocate, the very manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

From this perspective, if anything, hip-hop has been co-opted by oKURTIS BLOWppressive demonic forces that seek to destroy its liberative potential. Not the other way around.

Check out this interview that Blow had with hip-hop journalist/activist/DJ extraordinnaire Davey D on Breakdown FM last month. Kurtis Blow has started a Hip-Hop Church in Harlem and is on his way to being ordained in the AME Zion Church. I’ve transcribed portions of the interview below. To listen, click the play button below. The transcribed portion begins about eight minutes in.




Davey D: With regards to hip-hop, there are some people that look at hip-hop and church and say the two can’t go together. What’s your response to people who have really gone out of their way to have criticism about that connection.

Kurtis Blow: I’d say this…those are the people who don’t know hip-hop. They don’t know the true essence of hip-hop…

They are naive to the fact that when hip-hop started, God created hip-hop….It’s just like when Moses was…getting his people out of Egypt and…saved the Jews who were in Bondage.When the Jews were in bondage in Egypt, they cried out to God….All through the Bible, God always answers the prayers of (God’s) people who are oppressed, okay. If you ask for it. If you cry out to (God), (God) answers…This is the same thing with hip-hop. Now when hip-hop started in 1972-73, New York City was broke. New York City was becoming like a war-zone up in the South Bronx, because the (apartment) building owners in the Bronx burnt all the buildings down. People were poor and they didn’t have the money (to pay rent) and the landlords couldn’t get the people to move into the buildings, so they burnt them down for the insurance money. It was a scam that happened all around New York City…

People stayed there because they didn’t have (enough) money to move out. So they stayed in these abandoned buildings, a lot of people living in this dirt, in this rubble, in this mess and there were “fired” up buildings and there were rats and roaches. Like Melle Mel’s “The Message,” “Roaches everywhere, people pissin in the stairs (like they just don’t care). It was the same way, and this was because the landlord owners were oppressing the people and the people cried out in the South Bronx, “Help us.”

We cried out to the President (of the United States) and the big headline in 1973 said “The President says no to New York.” The city was broke.

God sent us a comforter. The Holy Spirit. The energy of hip-hop. This spirit of hip-hop. First it started with the graffiti, and the people started writing on the walls and trying to paint the walls to make them look beautiful, to make things look new. We live in all this rubble. We have self expression. We live in all this “fired up” buildings this rats and roaches, we live in all this dirt, but we’re not dirt. We live in all these ruins, but we’re not ruined.

It became a self-expression, a feeling inside that you wanted to show everyone that God gave me the talent. God gave me all this stuff. And I’m a human being. I may not have money and you may be an oppressor, but I’m still here. And I’m gonna survive.

Bishop Eddie L. Long

This is a clip from a weekly segment titled God Stuff that appeared on the original version of The Daily Show. Apparently, the video is almost ten years old, but still….. fresh sperm? Come on, man.

As MegaFest is upon us and mid-term congressional elections are underway. Jakes offers his commentary on the black church and politics.

Click the link to read the entire article. Let’s discuss this.


“I do not believe that African-American ministers should allow their political views to dictate the subjects and tone of their sermons. Some believe their calling is to consistently petition society to address its role in depriving African-Americans of the full benefits of citizenship. Others believe they are called to inform, encourage, coax and propel people of color to provide for themselves, shape their own reality and build institutions to better their communities.”

“Though the black community was served well by ministers who doubled as political leaders in an era when the pulpit was often our only podium, today, the African-American community is no longer limited to the pulpit as our primary lecture post. We now have thousands of African-American politicians elected to serve our interests, nonprofit leaders funded to lead our communal efforts and academics educated to research our options, and convey their findings to the world.”

Commentary: No political party can contain us (from CNN.com)

The publication of James H. Cone’s Black Theology & Black Power (1969) is approaching 40 years in print. This shirt celebrates its publication and its relevance even today.

Purchases can be made online at our online store (http://www.cafepress.com/blacktheology)

You can purchase Black Theology and Black Power online here or at Amazon.com.

Also be sure to get Black Faith and Public Talk: Critical Essays on James H. Cone’s Black Theology & Black Power, edited by Dwight Hopkins.

As the 1960’s progressed, James Cone felt torn by a feeling of “twoness.” He was an AME preacher, a Christian theologian – and a student of Malcolm X.

Filled with rage against the white church and his own inability to see God at work during the turbulent times, Cone sat down in 1967 to write the essay “Christianity and Black Power.” It marked the beginning of a theological journey that would be a radical break with his upbringing and education.

He rented a room at his brother’s church in Little Rock, Arkansas, and, in just one month, wrote Black Theology and Black Power. Cone felt himself channeling the Holy Spirit as he wrote. “I just felt myself driven by the truth, the truth of black history and culture and what it had to say about the nature of black faith in the struggle for justice”.

His book revolutionized the black church and articulated a way for black ministers to be relevant in the ongoing struggle. Black Theology taught that the Christian gospel carried a message of freedom, and that Jesus was the Liberator, fighting on the side of the oppressed throughout the world – particularly in the United States. Black Theology placed Christ firmly in the ghetto, and gave blacks the power, the “soul,” to “destroy white racism.”

From http://www.pbs.org/thisfarbyfaith

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