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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In 1966, black theology, a form of African American theology, emerged as a form of solidarity among African American theologians in response to sociopolitical events. This response reflected the “spirit of the times” and is consistent with so-called critical reflection on praxis. In general, African American praxis is connected to African American theology, or any theology for that matter. The interdependence of theology and praxis implies that responsible African American theologians are obligated to be accountable to and for the audiences whom their theology represents. In this essay, the author examines how African American theologians define and justify specific audiences to whom and for whom they write and are accountable by sharing his personal pilgrimage, as an African American theologian, to theological accountability. He also revisits an early debate among black religious scholars regarding the issue of accountability and discusses some of the challenges confronting audience accountability in the twenty-first century. Finally, he considers three essential components of accountability: the context in which one’s theological views are formed, a general sense of responsibility to and for community, and the sense of a higher calling.

Keywords: black theology, praxis, African American theology, audiences, accountability, context, responsibility, community, calling

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