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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

James H. Cone inaugurated a new school of theological thought in American seminaries and made a significant contribution to the study and interpretation of black religious culture. Cone’s “explicitly theological” approach helped establish the modern study of black religion in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Black theologians played a crucial role in normalizing the academic study of black religious culture and ultimately helped create the institutional and intellectual basis for interpreting a much wider range of black religious expression beyond the constraints of Christian identity. This article examines religious culture and cultural production in black theology by focusing on the work of James H. Cone. It contextualizes the emergence of the cultural turn in black theology and analyzes its impact on the study of black religion, along with how its development is linked to the broader institutionalization of black religion and black studies in colleges, seminaries, and universities in America.

Keywords: James H. Cone, seminaries, religious culture, religious expression, black theology, black religion, black studies, cultural production

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