Document Type



Religion (CGU)

Publication Date



Biblical Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Other Arts and Humanities | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Religion


Some things are a bit clearer to me today than they were a decade or so ago. For example, I can now better understand and articulate the reasons for my initial and continuing interest in biblical studies. It was the recognition of the pervasive influence of the Bible in the historical experiences of African Americans that first inspired the interest. The importance of the Bible among African Americans is not of significance to me because it is assumed to be unique in the history of the United States. I am quite aware of the historical importance of the Bible among the great majority of Americans, since the European settling of what has become the United States.1 But the importance of the Bible among virtually all Americans has only added impetus to my interest in its functions among African Americans. The extent to which the Bible provided Americans a language with which to articulate different interests and concerns and negotiate social and political existence, to this extent African American reading of the Bible—and self-understanding—is different from the majority culture and needs to be studied carefully.

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