Contemporary African American Preaching: Diversity in Theory and Style
The African American Christian tradition has produced countless great preachers, with the African American pulpit being widely regarded as the epitome of American religious oratory. This introductory work on contemporary homiletic theory focuses on the variety of preaching theories and styles that characterize African American preaching at the end of the 20th Century. Challenging the notion of a monolithic "black style" or "black preaching," it instead highlights the diversity within the tradition.
While previous books on African American homiletic theory have focused on specific theological approaches, methods, or historical overviews, there has been a lack of critical analysis of the similarities and differences within the field itself. The book surveys a spectrum of preachers, including the "gentlemen preachers," Afrocentrists, celebrationists, liberation or social crisis preachers, pastoral care theorists, and womanist and black feminist homileticians. It acknowledges the real diversity within the African American preaching tradition and avoid reducing it to a static phenomenon.
Author L. Susan Bond, a white academic, approaches the subject with respect, knowledge, and familiarity, acknowledging her position as an outsider studying a tradition that is both dear and somewhat distant. The author's interest in African American preaching stems from a desire to understand the diversity of American cultural forms of religious expression. Bond writes as an outsider, aiming to provide a descriptive and analytical exploration of the subject.