2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

Omnipotence and Liberation: The Theology of God's Power in Black Christianity


Sophia J. Johnson
Dr.  William Ashcraft, Faculty Mentor

Some Black Christians in the United States have connected their faith with the aim to end their political and social oppression, using the former to reinforce the latter. This paper analyzes theological descriptions of God's power in Black Christian sources like sermons and spirituals as a focal point for this interaction. I argue two broad theological trends, one focusing on God as the primary agent in deliverance and the other on the dual agency of Black Christians and God, emerged historically. Both serve essential functions that further the project of liberation in spite of their tension. Finally, I argue that more recent Black theologians' attempts to discuss the power of God have tried to capture the benefits of these two theological tendencies but fall short in various ways because they abstract them from their non-systematic contexts.

Keywords: Christianity, Black Church, omnipotence , Black theology, Black liberation, liberation, contextual theology, James Cone

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Face-to-Face Oral Presentation

Session: 302-2
Location: SUB Activities Room
Time: 1:45

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