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It is remarkable that African Americans, the descendants of slaves, embrace Christianity at all. The imagination that is necessary to parse biblical text and find within it a theology that speaks to their context is a testimony to their will to survive in a hostile land. Black religion embraces the cross and the narrative of Jesus as savior, both theologically and culturally. But this does not suggest that African Americans have not historically, and do not now, struggle with the reconciliation of the cross, black life, suffering. African Americans are well aware of the shared relationship of Christianity with the white oppressors of history. The religion that helped African Americans to survive is the religion that was instrumental in their near genocide.
About the Author
Larry Covin is the Systematic Theologian-Religion Scholar at Trinity UCC Church in York, Pennsylvania. He earned a BS in criminal justice from Albany State University, an MDiv from the Interdenominational Theological Center, a DMin from Lancaster Theological Seminary, and a Postdoctoral-ThM in theology and ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary. For over twenty years he taught at Morgan State University, University of Baltimore, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Lancaster Theological Seminary, and the Schaefer Center for Public Policy.