The Cathedral Lectures: August 14, 2021

Invitation to Lecture Three: “With one Ear at the Mouth of God and the Other at the Mouth of the People”

“The Black preacher,” wrote Womanist theologian Katie Cannon, “lives with one ear at the mouth of God, and the other at the mouth of the people.” Here we will explore the relationship between Black theology and the Scriptures and the Bible as site of struggle. We will test James Cone’s assertion that “the Black theologian is an exegete of Scripture and of life.” We discuss the critical questions raised within Black theological debate about the role and the efficacy of the Bible for Black theology and for oppressed communities. Desmond Tutu has described the Bible as “the most radical, revolutionary book ever written.” To which I have added, “And the most dangerous.” “Today,” Vuyani Vellem has written, “I fear for the Bible in the hands of the African Christian.” As such, does the Bible have a central place in Black theology still today, and if so, why?

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