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Witnessing Whiteness$
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Kristopher Norris

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190055813

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190055813.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 November 2021

Narrating Black Theology

Narrating Black Theology

(p.85) 4 Narrating Black Theology
Witnessing Whiteness

Kristopher Norris

Oxford University Press

Employing the theology of James Cone as a representative of black liberation theology, this chapter analyzes the narrative basis of his ecclesiology as a vision of the church untethered from whiteness. The analysis demonstrates the ways Cone’s ecclesiology contrasts and refines Hauerwas’s. It attends specifically to the ways his narrative theology offers more promising resources for rightly telling the story of white Christianity and offering better witness to our whiteness. This chapter identifies the three conceptual elements of an ethic of responsibility in his thought—memory, particularity, and concreteness. Then, drawing on womanist engagement with his work, argues that Cone offers the concept of “narrative blackness” that invites white theologians and Christians to a form of conversion he calls “becoming black.”

Keywords:   black liberation theology, James Cone, ecclesiology, narrative, story, womanist theology, conversion, blackness

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