Friday, December 02, 2005

Readings in Afrocentric Christianity

Last week a friend of mine gave me a book entitled, "Afrocentrism & Christian Faith" by Dr. Wyatt T. Walker. The book consists of two lectures given at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in 1993 and two other essays. I finally began reading it today. Needless to say, this is certainly a thought-provoking book and looks to be an interesting read. Here are some initial thoughts and observations.

  1. The author is (not surprisingly) strongly opposed to capitalism. However, what it is interesting to note is that he makes an implicit connection between racism and capitalism. Furthermore, the author directly connects capitalism with “Eurocentric Christianity.”

  2. The author explicitly affirms that Afrocentric Christianity is a syncretism of “African traditional religion” and Christianity. While I am quite ignorant on this subject, I must say that I found the casual use of the noun “syncretism” both surprising and almost shocking.

  3. The author counters the suggestion that slavery resulted in the eventual evangelization of slaves by suggesting, “[i]t is either na├»ve or ignorant to presume that the Africans brought to the Americas came without some clear sense of God-given spirituality” (4). [This is not meant to suggest that I personally condone the practice of slavery. On a personal note, being from the Caribbean and of “mixed” ethnicity, it is possible that some of my ancestors were once themselves slaves.]

More to come soon . . .

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