For black people in America, Christian formation historically has come at a steep price—alienation from, even shame for, their African past. This alienation is primarily rooted in the acceptance of two orthodox Christian doctrines: the doctrines of original sin and Jesus Christ as exclusive savior. This work is concerned with the way Black Christian formation, because of the acceptance of universal, absolute, and exclusive Christian doctrines, seems to justify and even encourage anti-African sentiment. Clark seeks to address this problem by constructing a doctrine of the ancestors in an effort to legitimize indigenous African religious categories and offer an alternative theological anthropology for the future of Black theology.
JAWANZA ERIC CLARK is Assistant Professor of Global Christianity at Manhattan College, USA.