Black Liberation Theology and Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Professor Dwight Hopkins answers questions about the black church, black liberation theology, and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Continued from page 5

America sees that and thinks “We thought that was the black church. Where does Jeremiah Wright fit in?" Prosperity gospel is a recent development, but the whole personal salvation and social justice has been there since the black church began. It's just that it doesn't have any high visibility.

Does the idea of being critical of the government or aware of the government situate itself theologically better in the black church than in the mainline Protestant churches?

I think in terms of consistent awareness and critique, yes. Of course, there have been great prophetic white preachers--William Sloane Coffin, who was the pastor of Riverside Church in Manhattan, Harry Emerson Fosdick, you know, to a certain degree Jonathan Edwards and, you know, Reinhold Niebuhr. He had some serious stuff to say about race. But, consistently, it's been the black church that's been aware of and the "critiquer" of the government and public policy.

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