Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance
Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance  -     By: Reggie L. Williams
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Baylor University Press / 2014 / Paperback
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Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance

Baylor University Press / 2014 / Paperback

In Stock
Stock No: WW588059


Product Description

Dietrich Bonhoeffer publicly confronted Nazism and anti-Semitic racism in Hitler's Germany. The Reich's political ideology, when mixed with theology of the German Christian movement, turned Jesus into a divine representation of the ideal, racially pure Aryan and allowed race-hate to become part of Germany's religious life. Bonhoeffer provided a Christian response to Nazi atrocities.

In this book Reggie L. Williams follows Bonhoeffer as he defies Germany with Harlem's black Jesus who suffered with African Americans in their struggle against systemic injustice and racial violence—and then resisted. In the pews of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, under the leadership of Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., Bonhoeffer absorbed the Christianity and Christology of the Harlem Renaissance, including a Jesus who stands with the oppressed rather than joins the oppressors and a theology that challenges the way God can be used to underwrite a union of race and religion.

In Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus, Williams argues that the black American narrative led Dietrich Bonhoeffer to the truth that obedience to Jesus requires concrete historical action. This ethic of resistance not only indicted the church of the German Volk, but also continues to shape the nature of Christian discipleship today.

Product Information

Title: Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance
By: Reggie L. Williams
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 196
Vendor: Baylor University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
Weight: 11 ounces
ISBN: 1602588058
ISBN-13: 9781602588059
Stock No: WW588059

Author Bio

Reggie L. Williams is Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary. He is a member of the International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society, as well as the Society for the Study of Black Religion, and a founding member of the Society for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Religion.

Editorial Reviews

…a highly significant study of Bonhoeffer’s powerfully formative theological development inside the crucible and sublime beauty of Harlem. It is required reading for anyone seeking a more complex, constructive, and provocative view of Bonhoeffer, especially as it provides a dark-hued and somewhat contested thesis that will surely establish a new benchmark for the vigorous discussions and debates to come regarding Bonhoeffer’s Christological and ethical embrace of racial alterity and Christian identity.


...What should the reflective life of a global Christian look like? Williams’ Bonhoeffer brings us close and paves the way for deeper reflection on the impact of Bonhoeffer’s global ministry on his theology.


Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus stands as a turning point in Bonhoeffer scholarship while offering a fresh and constructive approach to theological ethics in its vision for empathic resistance and solidarity with the oppressed.


Reggie Williams' Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus…breaks new ground in offering a detailed and vibrant portrait of the Harlem Renaissance that was in full blossom during Bonhoeffer’s time in New York.


Williams is wholly at home with Bonhoeffer’s life and thought…


Reggie William's Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance is one of the best books I've read in years. I highly recommend it to any reader, particularly students, pastors, and professors.


Williams’ prose is enthralling, and he successfully engages in meaningful dialog with earlier literature in ethics, theology, and black studies. His book is a welcome effort to bridge our understanding of Bonhoeffer’s actions in Germany with motivations inherited from Black America. It might be useful in both undergraduate and graduate settings.


Williams’ exploration is a welcome journey into a domain of praxiological substance in a contemporary age where vain ideologies, boisterous pathologies, and impotent philosophies have become normative impersonations of meaningful commitment. His historical framing is invaluable, as he refreshingly covers the development and depth of Bonhoeffer’s thought.


In addition to the exploration of Bonhoeffer’s time in Harlem, this book raises important considerations about scholarship and pedagogy that would benefit a broad audience. Williams, using Bonhoeffer’s own words, emphasizes that his early theology had been a demonstration of intellect rather than an expression of faith.

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