By E. Kornegay
Kornegay's magnificent and insightful use of James Baldwin's literary genius bargains a fashion ahead that gives you to beat the divide among faith and sexuality that's of an important significance not just for black church and theology yet for socio-political-religious and theological discourse generally.
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Additional resources for A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose
Baldwin does this in three ways. First, Baldwin uses the blues as a type of Christological hermeneutic (black religious vernacular) to signify on the cause of the anguish (suffering) associated with black Christian faith: the psychological collision between puritan ideology and black bodies. Instead of Christianity being a source for puritanical conceptions of black depravity that foster the psychological collision, a blues metaphor extends the sacred to include the messiness of black life. The blues metaphor creates an allegorical self-reflexive connection between Christianity and black bodies that liberates them from puritanical proscriptions of black depravity and the “violated” religious inheritance of black people.
5 In the act of signifying, Baldwin exposes the contradictions between the profession of Christian love and justice for all and the Christian practice of hate and injustice against black bodies. In this sense, what Christianity denotates metaphorically (and semiotically) concerning its use to liberate black bodies from black depravity is figurative rather than actual. Second, signifying is a rhetorical strategy. Charles I. ”6 As a rhetorical strategy signifying avoids becoming a metaphor in the sense that metaphor is a fixed fact: meaning permanently affixed to and dependent on that to which it is being Between James’s Gospel and Jimmy’s Blues 41 metaphorically likened.
Instead, the likelihood of relief needed for somebodiness is met with Blindness, Loneliness, and Terror: Blindness being the primary principle of puritanism. 60 Baldwin clearly identified the psychological complexity of blackness created by the metaphorical relationship between puritanism and the black religious tradition, between black folk and white folk; between the enslaver and the enslaved; between homosexuality and heterosexuality; and finally between God and his own salvation. The metaphorical relationship between blackness and all other social, religious, and sexual categories creates a form of detachment or a hazard, which makes blackness a dangerous idea: the psychological trap of metaphorical blackness.
A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose by E. Kornegay