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Contemporary African American Preaching: Diversity in Theory and Style [Paperback]

By L. Susan Bond (Author)
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Item description for Contemporary African American Preaching: Diversity in Theory and Style by L. Susan Bond...

Overview
L. Susan Bond reveals the full range and diversity of African American preaching in this exploration of African American homiletical theories. Portraying the many approaches that are empowering preaching in African American churches today, Bond shows how different theological perspectives produce different methods of sermon preparation and delivery, different strategies for selecting illustrative material, and even different ways of beginning and ending sermons. Her goal is not to lift up the "right way" to preach in the African American tradition, but to show the richness and nuance contained within this powerful cultural expression.

Publishers Description
L. Susan Bond reveals the full range and diversity of African American preaching in this exploration of African American homiletical theories. Surveying some of the most respected homiletical theorists -- including Samuel DeWitt Proctor, Gardner Taylor, James Earl Massey, James A. Forbes, Jr., Henry H. Mitchell, Ella Pearson Mitchell, Leontine T. C. Kelly, Katie Geneva Cannon, and Teresa L. Fry Brown -- Bond summarizes their work in detail, fully and skillfully articulating the contributions of each and giving attention to historical and social contexts, as well as theological importance. Portraying the many approaches that are empowering preaching in African American churches today, Bond shows how different theological perspectives produce different methods of sermon preparation and delivery, different strategies for selecting illustrative material, and even different ways of beginning and ending sermons. Her goal is not to lift up the right way to preach in the African American tradition, but to show the richness and nuance contained within this powerful cultural expression. An extensive bibliography is especially valuable for seminary classes and for pastors as a reading list of African American homileticians and homiletic theories.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Chalice Press
Pages   154
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.45"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 24, 2003
Publisher   Chalice Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  0827204892  
ISBN13  9780827204898  


Availability  85 units.
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More About L. Susan Bond


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! L. Susan Bond is Assistant Professor of Homiletics at The Divinity School of Vanderbilt University.

L. Susan Bond currently resides in the state of Tennessee.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching


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Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about Contemporary African American Preaching: Diversity in Theory and Style?

It'll preach!  Feb 9, 2005
I first came across L. Susan Bond's writing in her wonderful text, 'Trouble with Jesus: Women, Christology, and Preaching'. This second book, 'Contemporary African American Preaching', is a text with a different focus, but shares Bond's accessible and interesting writing style, as well as innovative ways of looking at her topic. One of the more interesting things about this book is that Bond is not an African American; she is praised by African-American scholars and preachers for her sensitivity to the subject, with regard to which she is most definitely not a part by nature. Bond is influenced by the thinking of Theo Witvliet, a white Dutch academic, who established definite criteria for outsiders working with African American religion (which includes 'genuine familiarity with written scholarship, a respect for the scholarship, and a critical stance informed primarily by scholars inside the tradition') - she states in her preface that she writes 'self-consciously, as an outsider.'

Bond sees much scholarship done in the area of African-American preaching as acknowledging and celebrating its contribution to the American religious landscape in general, but also as falling into the pitfall of seeing it as a monolithic phenomenon. In the various chapters, Bond shows a diversity of style, theory and theology among several of key figures in the African American preaching tradition. Bond's intention is to concentrate on the differences rather than the similarities, to bring out the subtle aspects and variety inherent that might get lost in an single vision of African American preaching.

Bond's introduction and first chapter dispel the idea that the distinctiveness of this preaching tradition rests on style and delivery. She gives a brief survey of homiletic theory, including issues of the gospel message, relationship between the testaments, purposes for preaching, ecclesiology issues, and liturgical considerations; she also looks at issues of racial orientation and language/linguistic issues. Bond's coverage here is touches both the practical and the theoretical; one is as likely to encounter the name of preachers such as Jarena Lee and Martin Luther King, Jr. as one will the names of Heidegger and Barth.

The following five chapters each focus upon a particular individual and his (yes, each is a 'his', but more on this later) way of navigating and incorporating the various issues discussed in Bond's presentation of homiletic theory. Thus, we see the way in which Samuel DeWitt Proctor, Gardner C. Taylor, James Earl Massey, James Alexander Forbes, Jr., and Henry Herbert Mitchell deal with the purpose of preaching, the nature of the gospel, the relationship of the testaments, and so on.

The final chapter looks at the newly forming group of African-American female scholars and preachers, including individuals such as Ella Pearson Mitchell (wife of Henry Herbert Mitchell) and Leotine T.C. Kelly as forerunners of the Womanist movement, and Katie Geneva Canon and Teresa L. Fry Brown as women part of Womanist theology, developed theologically by women such as Jacquelyn Grant and Delores S. Williams. This material, in terms of page numbers, is less thorough and substantial than the previous work on the five male preachers, but in terms of long-term impact and energy, this represents the seed of something growing to have 'significant impact on homiletic thought, not just in the world of African American homiletic theory, but in the broadest arena of homiletic scholarship.'

This book serves to dispel many ideas that outsiders (like me) might have - for example, there is sometimes the idea that African-American preaching tends toward the theologically conservative and fundamentalist. Bond highlights Proctor as a good counter-example to this idea, stating that Proctor was neither fundamentalist nor literal in interpretation, saying that 'he chides those who put too much trust in the Bible, claiming that such trust is an error of human pride.' On the other hand, it does reaffirm some embedded ideas with regard to African-American preaching - there is often the idea that African-American preaching is much more emotional that 'white' preaching; Henry Herbert Mitchell is a good case in point here, who made the claim that the Western ideas of rationalism and intellectualism have discouraged and even discredited the idea of emotionalism in white preaching.


 

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