The Ground Has Shifted: The Future of the Black Church in Post-Racial America

Walter Earl Fluker. New York Univ., $35 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4798-1038-3
The black church is “haunted by an old ghost who has shape-shifted into the language of post-racialism,” writes Fluker (Ethical Leadership), professor of ethical leadership at Boston University School of Theology, in this passionate analysis and call for change. Approaching post-racialism as a “postulate that is subject to argument and investigation,” Fluker organizes his discussion around memory, vision, and mission to encourage “a disturbing theology, a disruptive ethics, a prophetic preaching” with a particular focus on the “exilic condition” of young black men. Fluker’s up-to-date appraisal includes discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement and ways the “old ghost” of slavery and racial oppression has haunted Barack Obama’s presidency. This work, aimed specifically at black church leaders and scholars, offers a conceptual path forward rather than a handbook of specific strategies. Fluker’s more poetic, personal sections can be riveting, but his extensive use of academic social science language and close analysis of the work of scholars in his field may make his lines of inquiry difficult for the general reader to follow. Those up for a challenge will find an exuberant, thought-provoking assessment of the dilemmas facing black churches and pointers toward, in Fluker’s words, “new ways to model citizenship in diasporas and exiles.” This book is perhaps best suited for academics, theology schools, and large public libraries. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016
Release date: 11/08/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4798-2388-8
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