The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Kind Of Blue (part 2)

America in the 1950's–All a matter of perspective. The war was over, suburbia was being invented and the American dream was being pursued…by some

For black America, the 1950's were a decade of emergence. After 90 years of not being slaves and yet not being citizens either, something had to give. The dehumanization of separate water fountains, segregated schools, lynchings in the South, massive nihilism in the urban North and no voting rights gave rise to discontent. As Fannie Lou Hamer would say, sometimes your just "sick and tired of being sick and tired."

In 1954 racial segregation of schools was ruled unconstitutional. In 1955 Rosa Parks decided to stay seated. And in 1959 Miles Davis recorded Kind of Blue and jazz has never been the same. Four years later, Martin Luther King Jr. called America to emerge, even better, to converge and America has never been the same either.

Jazz anticipates, participates, senses the shift of the wind…listens

Theology like jazz is not meant to be a series of static propositions but rather the job of a theologian (and everybody is a theologian!), is to sense current realities, anticipate the wind of God…to listen.

To be continued…

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Rebecca J. Schaefer

posted September 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I have always wondered who coined the phrase about “Being sick & tired of being sick and tired…”
Sounds like the emergent church of the 1950’s was born out of a chronic emotional fatigue syndrome. Too many “drainers” & not enough “fillers” for balance. When I lick my finger & stick it up in the air in my neighborhood, I’m feeling the wind blowing in a direction of greater freedom. Watching kite-boarders turn flips in the air Sunday at the lake, reminded me that we can make powerful, thirty -mile an hour winds work for us by the way we lean in/away and posture our bodies.
Listening has a posture, responding another, now I’m leaning into the wind of change and convergence…going to the neighborhood BBQ so I can hear better.

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