Essay on An Examination Of Christianity African American Literature
An Examination of Christianity in African-American Literature
The absurdity of Christianity’s appropriation as a practice among African-American slaves, the authenticity of its adoption into early African-American literature and thinking, and the actuality of the religion’s application in later writings and culture of the African-American people.
ABSURDITY OF APPRORIATION. Examining the role that religion played in the African-American community, primarily pre-civil war, can be a difficult task due to the limited amount of evidence available.1 While it is a common notion that slavery life was embedded with Christian ideals, a Christian-like ideology is likely more accurate.2 Syncretism occurred with the combining of African tradition and Christian principles to create an African-American spirituality specific to its people. Whites, being leery not to encourage freedom-based teachings of Christianity, provided a watered-down version that stayed true to the salvation message and passages encouraging the slave 's docility, but avoided passages promoting freedom primarily found in the Old Testament. The Great Awakening of the 1740 's proved to be an instrumental event of the new African-American spirituality with its focal point on a "personal relationship with God and conversion of the masses, rather than the liturgical and theological focus prior to the awakening.3 This development enabled lay preachers with no…