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The Spiritual Lives of Young African Americans$
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Almeda Wright

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190664732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190664732.001.0001

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Being Young, Active, and Faithful

Being Young, Active, and Faithful

Black Youth Activism Reshaping Black Christian Social Witness

(p.154) 5 Being Young, Active, and Faithful
The Spiritual Lives of Young African Americans

Almeda M. Wright

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 continues exploring alternatives to fragmented spirituality by drawing connections between historical and contemporary models of American public theology and activism. Is Black youth activism “replacing the church” as a locus for social analysis, community building, and change? Many scholars have suggested dramatic discontinuities between historical and contemporary streams of Black religion and activism. Yet, most who would argue that the church is irrelevant or dead are in fact revealing that dominant ways of theorizing “the Black church” have been debunked and must be transcended. The work of young Black activists and public theologians today both reveals their commensurability with historical movements and offers clues to the necessity of their transcendence. Despite challenges and continued barriers to youth activism within churches, Black public theology continues to be an essential resource to counter individualism and fragmentation and to sustain youth activism for the long haul.

Keywords:   Black church, public theology, W. E. B. Du Bois, social gospel, liberation theology, Civil Rights Movement, Womanist theology, symbolic action, liturgy, theodicy

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