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TH 405 Study Guide for Midterm

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 2 months ago

You will be asked to answer some version of four of the following six questions.  The test will be essay-style in blue books, and you will have two hours total to complete the exam.

 

 

1. Cone writes, "Inasmuch as white American theologians do not belong to the black community, they cannot relate the gospel to that community" (Cone, p. 23).  Given your reading of the texts in this class, how would you explain what Cone means here to someone who has not read A Black Theology of Liberation?  (For example, what does Cone mean by "black community"?  What does he mean by "gospel"? etc. - and most importantly, why can "white American theologians" not relate the gospel, according to Cone?)

 

2. How does Cone contrast the "white" and "black" conceptions of Christian love in light of Bonhoeffer's warning against "cheap grace"?  Elaborate your response to Cone's position: is his vision of love compeeling or inadequate?  Explain why you agree or disagree with his position. (See pages 66 - 74)

 

3. Kelly Brown Douglas asks, "Does calling Christ 'Black' adequately indicate Christ's significance for the Black community?  Is the Black Christ, as it emerged in Black theology, one who truly is a liberator and empowerer of the Black community?" (Black Christ, p. 84)  First, explain in your own words how Douglas answers these questions.  Second, how would you answer them?

 

4. Is the "Womanist Black Christ" a black woman?  In your own words, explain Kelly Brown Douglas's position on this question (Black Christ, 106 - 113)

 

5. Josiah Young proposes that a next step for North American Black theology is to move in the direction of "Pan-African" theology.  Imagine you are explaining this essay to a class or a church group and want to make it clear to them.  First, what does Young mean by the term "Pan-African" here?  Second, in making his argument, Young strongly believes that Black theology should be willing to embrace so-called "pagan" elements of African religions, such as Vodun (aka "voodoo" in the Carribean area).  Drawing from your readings and experience, please argue for or against Young's proposal that Black Christianity can - and should - embrace such pagan elements. (Black Theology, 18 - 24)

 

6. Delores Williams asks, "Could Cone affirm the action for black women that logically follows what he and Malcom X say in [Black Theology of Liberation]?" (Cone, p. 190)  In your own words, take on this question.  How far can Cone's liberating ideal of Jesus Christ go in terms of oppressed groups among us?  How far should it go?

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