In this book Johnny Bernard Hill argues that prophetic rage, or righteous anger, is a necessary response to our present culture of imperialism and nihilism. The most powerful way to resist meaninglessness, he says, is refusing to accept the realities of structural injustice, such as poverty, escalating militarism, genocide, and housing discrimination.
Hill’s Prophetic Rage is interdisciplinary, integrating art, music, and literature with theology. It is constructive, passionate, and provocative. Hill weaves through a myriad of creative and prophetic voices of protest—from Jesus to W. E. B. DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and President Barack Obama—as well as multiple approaches, including liberation theology and black religion, to reflect theologically on the nature of liberation, justice, and hope on contemporary culture.
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“Prophetic Rage is a manifesto of liberation, hope, and reconciliation. It is the cry of millions from around the world, both Christian and non-Christian, representing all races and ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and faiths, yearning to be free, to be whole, to flourish. Inspired by the long and creative legacy of prophetic Christianity, Prophetic Rage is the call for renewal and transformation in the quest to resist empire and establish alternative spheres of peace, justice, reconciliation, hope, and redemption in the world.” (Page 2)
“Modern theology’s preoccupation with rationalism and personal autonomy, in distancing theory and praxis, continues to be one of the most imposing barriers to transformative and prophetic Christian witness in the world.” (Page 14)
“his core theological argument that the very nature of the Christian narrative is liberation of the poor and oppressed” (Page 24)
“There is no soul salvation without social and political liberation from systems of power and domination that crush the soul and spirit. The meaning of the cross is seen in the capacity for Jesus Christ to both identify with black suffering and abandonment (as seen in the Markan passage ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ [15:34]), and champion the cause of freedom and liberation. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment and promise of freedom and embodies a message of eschatological hope, not only for the future but also in the present.” (Page 32)
“What does postmodernity mean for those who suffer? And what should be the Christian response (or that of anyone else)? Approaching this question or not approaching the question is already troubling for a culture determined to police out the recognition of any form of suffering from mind, body, and spirit.” (Page 12)
This book is a powerful and prophetic expression of the new generation of freedom fighters. . . . Don’t miss it!
—Cornel West, professor of philosophy and Christian practice, Union Theological Seminary
Prophetic Rage is, quite simply, THE book in black theology for which many of us have been waiting. In this eminently readable work Johnny Hill accomplishes what so many have given a nod to but not substantively dealt with in the field of theology—constructing a theology that not only takes seriously the suffering of black people but uses the creativity of their own tradition to do so.
—Stephen G. Ray Jr., Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Lays the foundation for a postcolonial liberation theology and prophetic rage against such continuing forms of injustice as racism, poverty, militarism, violence, nihilism, materialism, imperialism, mass incarceration, and more. Seminarians, clergy, and laypersons concerned about justice will find this book to be a most useful guide for their social thought and action.
—Peter J. Paris, emeritus professor of Christian ethics, Princeton Theological Seminary
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