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The Bible and African Americans: A Brief History

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The unique encounter of African Americans with the Bible has shaped centuries of spirituality and social engagement of a whole continent. Highly respected biblical scholar Vincent Wimbush here outlines the five phases of African American reading and shows how the Bible offered a language-world through which Africans Americans have negotiated the strange land into which they were thrust.

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Top Highlights

“First, each historical ‘reading’ is assumed to be public, or communal, not private or individualistic.” (Page 8)

“A perception of power was associated with simply being able to show up from another world” (Page 16)

“African Americans as a circle of the biblical imaginary.1 It helped a people imagine themselves as something other, in another world, different from what their immediate situation reflected or demanded.” (Page 4)

“an approach to biblical interpretation informed by trauma—both physical and psychosocial.” (Page 28)

“the sacred book as cargo that was most often the primary object of exchange.” (Page 14)

  • Title: The Bible and African Americans: A Brief History
  • Author: Vincent Wimbush
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Print Publication Date: 2003
  • Logos Release Date: 2013
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible › Black interpretations--History; African Americans › Religion; Religion and culture › United States
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-15T04:29:38Z

Vincent L. Wimbush is professor of religion and director of the Institute for Signifying Scriptures. His current teaching and research interests focus upon the socio-cultural history, social psychology, anthropology, performativity, and politics of “scriptures†in society and culture. His area of expertise is Christian scriptures. He uses the complex engagements of such, especially on the part of subaltern peoples, as analytical wedge for ongoing theorizing and comparative research.


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