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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since the United States was born as a nation, African American theological thinkers have encountered a host of challenges that make a theologically informed social theory problematic insofar as the place and position of African Americans in the polity are concerned. It is up to African American theology to confront the major questions, issues, and problems that arise from the experiential context of its adherents in the American polity. This essay examines some of the dominant trends in African American theological thinking and the dialectical challenge in elaborating a viable, theologically resonant form of thought that is responsive to the social, cultural, and political concerns and contexts of African Americans. It first considers African American theological normativity in relation to secularism before turning to a discussion of how African American theological thinking addresses the challenge of reason as well as the challenges of postsegregation America. It also considers the views of scholars such as James H. Cone and Charles H. Long.

Keywords: social theory, African Americans, polity, African American theology, secularism, reason, America, James H. Cone, Charles H. Long

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