By E. Kornegay
Kornegay's superb and insightful use of James Baldwin's literary genius deals a fashion ahead that provides to beat the divide among faith and sexuality that's of an important value not just for black church and theology yet for socio-political-religious and theological discourse generally.
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Extra info for A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose
Baldwin’s allegorical consciousness reveals a concern in relation to the truth of the human condition via homosexuality, which allows for a mutual embrace between God and the dispossessed. ”102 Baldwin becomes an authentic instrument who uses religion as the conduit for political, social, sexual, and theological change. Baldwin awakens us to the possibility of religious interpretation, which makes it safe to say black bodies and black sexuality have the divine capacity that makes us larger, freer, and more loving.
Allegory becomes a hermeneutical defense against being torn asunder by puritanically induced twoness: something that is able to assuage suspicion with a more sustainable interpretive endeavor. Baldwin confronts puritanical metaphors of oppression with an allegorical defense. Allegorical Defense: A Sexualized Discourse What do I mean when I say allegorical defense? What makes it a sexualized discourse? Allegory is extended metaphor: meaning that is not permanently affixed to that to which it is being likened.
30 The term music does not refer here to a rhythm accompaniment of horns, symbols, and drumbeats, but what Baldwin calls the experience of black life. 34 For James Baldwin, Christianity is a blues signification, a divine rhetorical device used to break down the connections between black bodies, and the puritanical proscriptions against the body that shape the inherited condition of black life in America. Baldwin never abandons faith and belief, but transfers it from the narrow interpretive paradigms of black Christianity to blues in order to signify on the puritanical constraints against the black body, the black church, and black community embedded within each.
A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose by E. Kornegay