Giving Christ a New Face: James Baldwin, Black Religion, and the Death of Alabaster Christianity
Workshop Description: In the aftermath of the 1963 bombing of the16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama that claimed the lives of four young Black girls, James Baldwin stated: “It is time that we, who in one way or another invented and are responsible for our deities, give [Christ] a new face. Give him a new consciousness.” This workshop will offer an intensive examination of images of Jesus in James Baldwin’s literature, putting his work into conversation with Black, womanist, and queer theological discourses. In essence, this workshop asks how we might begin to move past the white Jesus, the cisgender and heterosexual Jesus, & the capitalist Jesus, daring to imagine Christ with a “new face… a new consciousness.”
Biography: Christopher Hunt is Assistant Professor of Religion at Colorado College. As a scholar of African American religions, his research brings an interdisciplinary lens, including African American religious history, literary criticism, Black studies, contemporary theology (particularly Black, womanist, and queer theologies), and queer studies to bear in exploring the relationship of religion to varying socio-political phenomena, particularly race, gender, and sexuality.
Dr. Hunt’s research explores the relevance and meaning of Black religion for those on the margins of or considered outside of traditional religious spaces, whether due to transgressive religious identities (Black skeptics, agnostics, humanists, or non-theists), or because of non-normative sexual or gender identities.
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