CFP: Womanist Theology: A Black Woman’s Intellectual Movement

Delores Williams speaking (Wikimedia Commons)

James Cone, a pioneer of Black Theology, initially failed to consider Black women’s perspectives in his work. Black women’s experiences were also absent from early feminist scholarship in religious studies. Delores S. Williams, Katie Geneva Cannon, Jacqueline Grant, Renita Weems, and others responded to these oversights by publishing articles and books that interpreted biblical narratives in a manner that gave voice to them, their grandmothers, mothers, aunties, and other women that anchored their communities and churches. Taking their cues from Alice Walker’s definition of “womanist,” as defined in the book, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose, Womanist religious scholars have created a prodigious amount of work that, though grounded in the experiences of African American women, has implications for everyone who works for inclusivity and hope. While Womanist scholars have been highly productive and influential as writers, teachers, and scholars, their lives and works remain largely unknown within the field of intellectual history. Yet, in seminaries and religious studies departments around the U.S., these Black women scholars are known as “trailblazers” and “founders” in the disciplines of theology, ethics, and biblical interpretation.

Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, invites blog posts that consider the origins and the rise of Womanist theological scholarship. These essays can take the form of a biography of a Womanist scholar, the emergence of a particular Womanist field, the influence of a critical Womanist text, the importance of Womanism to Black preaching and Black churches, or another Womanist-related topic that includes but is not limited, to the following:

  • Delores S. Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness, and the establishment of womanist theology
  • Katie Geneva Cannon, emilie townes, and the founding of Womanist ethics
  • Jacqueline Grant, Christology, and Blackness
  • Sisterhood in the work of Renita Weems
  • Slave ideology and biblical interpretation
  • Womanists and the Black Lives Matter Movement
  • The difference between feminist and Womanist thought
  • Womanist homiletics
  • Beyonce, Rhianna, and Womanist scholarship

Submissions should be between 1,000 to 1,500 words. They must be submitted to the senior editors ( no later than Friday, March 31 by 11:59 p.m Eastern. Please include your bio (250-300 words) and headshot (for use in promotion if your essay is accepted) with your submission.

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