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Lecture 36

REL 399 Lecture Notes - Lecture 36: Social Reality, Black ChurchPremium

2 pages112 viewsWinter 2016

Department
Religion
Course Code
REL 399
Professor
Ronald Charles
Lecture
36

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March 21, 2016
Black/ African Diaspora Lecture
“Sunday morning at 11 o’clock is the most segregated hour of the week in America” (Winter
1962)
Religion of the oppressed and coded messages: The black spiritual
Churches divided by race. Would not burry the whites with the blacks (graveyard).
The black diasporic Christian expression is a synthesis of white religion and black experience,
developing its unique feature and character through times. Slave religion was not a simple
adaptation of Christianity; it was a reworked Christianity that had its own character, style, and
outlook. Much of the black church today has been influenced by this heritage.
Blacks church with white members?
There needs to be a trust that needs to be regained
Research can objectify (subject vs. object)
Need to understand different dynamics where people are coming from
Do you really want to sympathize with these people; be yourself and be vulnerable?
When we try to empathize with others, we need to place ourselves as vulnerable learners. This
is missing in many people in their research. Not being humble enough to be vulnerable and to
learn. Many times we have much more to learn than actually to teach.
Codes and the Spirituals: put hidden messages in the spirituals, so when they are singing, they
are actually giving a message to others so that they know where to go, what to do and so on
and so forth.
The Black church as a whole, has never just been as adaptation of White Christianity. What it
has done, combine White Christianity with African elements in it, be it culture, some Native reli-
gions, voodoo. Give different connotations, understanding to Mother Mary, for example (might
have something related to an African deity or God).
Never one thing, very much a complex identity that they have developed.
Because of their experience it is not the same. (The spirituals, jazz, a different way of speaking
of preaching, teaching, dancing, etc.)
When a religion comes into a different culture, it does not just sit there unaffected. The religion
is affected by the culture of the land. Culture always influences the way a particular religion de-
velops. Religion is always in sync with the social reality, also even the psychology of the place.
Syncraticism.
Marx: religion is the opium of the poor. Religion is a drug, something to numb your pain, the
fact that you’re marginalized. Social reality is so painful (i.e. you are a slave), that religion helps
you to calm yourself down.
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