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An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity. Cornel West Sources for this Christianity Prophetic Christianity American Pragmatism. Prophetic Christian Thought. Norm of individuality

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an afro american revolutionary christianity
An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity
  • Cornel West
  • Sources for this Christianity
    • Prophetic Christianity
    • American Pragmatism
prophetic christian thought
Prophetic Christian Thought
  • Norm of individuality
    • “Every individual regardless of class, country, caste, race, or sex should have the opportunity to fulfill his or her potentialities.” (297)
    • This radical egalitarian idea is “the Christian principle of the self-realization of individuality within community.” (297)
    • Emphasizes this-worldly liberation and other-worldly salvation.
    • Existential freedom and social freedom. (298)
comparison to marxism and individualism
Marxism (297, 299)

Shares a moral impulse

Tends to ignore political liberties and diverse cultural activities of individuals

Is a dialectic of human practice and human history rather than of human nature and human history. (299)

Individualism (297)

Promotes selfishness and denigrates the idea of community.

Views individuals as maximizers of pleasure and appropriators of unlimited resources (rather than enjoyers and agents of human capacities)

Comparison to Marxism and Individualism
two more elements of christian gospel
Dignity of persons

Ability to change and be changed, to act in light of what is not yet.

Tragic role in history.

Depravity of persons

Proclivity to cling to the moment, to refuse to transform and be transformed.

Pitiful role in history.

Two more elements of Christian gospel
prophetic christian thought5
Prophetic Christian Thought
  • Norm of democracy (298)
    • Reflects the dignity of persons and recognizes the depravity of persons.
    • Requires that accountability be the center of any acceptable social vision.
    • This norm is inseparable from the norm of individuality. Individuality is the moral core of the Christian gospel and democracy is its historical realism.
american pragmatism
American Pragmatism
  • “Philosophy is…the interpretation of a people’s past for the purpose of solving specific problems presently confronting the cultural way of life from which the people come.” (299)
  • “discern, delineate, and defend particular norms through highlighting desirable possibilities present in the practices of a specific community or society” (300)
the tasks of an afro american revolutionary christianity
The Tasks of an Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity
  • Self-image and self-determination
  • Engage in a genealogical inquiry into the cultural roots of white supremacy
  • Provide a theoretical reconstruction of Afro-American responses to white supremacy
  • Develop a dialogical encounter with Marxism
  • Provide a political prescription for the present historical moment