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RaceA Theological Account$
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J. Kameron Carter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152791.001.0001

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 Theologizing Race

 Theologizing Race

James H. Cone, Liberation, and the Theological Meaning of Blackness

(p.157) 4 Theologizing Race

J. Kameron Carter (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

At the center of the intellectual program called a black theology of liberation, as spearheaded by James Cone, has been unmasking the superstructure of whiteness as rooted in a problematic Christology.This chapter does two things. First, it shows how the early work of Cone broke ground in uncovering the theological structure of modern racial reasoning. Cone's deepest insight here was that modernity's racial imagination, its gaze of whiteness, is tied to Christianity's modernist quest to overcome its Jewish roots or for Christian supersessionism. Second, it shows how a discourse of black cultural nationalism, “ontological blackness,” eventually sabotaged this early insight, thus causing the logic of modern racial reasoning to reenact itself inside of black theology. The chapter sketches a Christian theology of Israel as the way to press forward Cone's deepest insight for redressing the racial‐theological constitution of modernity.

Keywords:   James Cone, black theology, liberation, race, ontological blackness, Christology, modern racial reasoning, whiteness, modernity

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