By Albert J. Raboteau

ISBN-10: 0807009067

ISBN-13: 9780807009062

ISBN-10: 0807009334

ISBN-13: 9780807009338

"A fireplace within the Bones is greater than a background of black Christians: it's the compelling tale of the ways that black people have became to Christianity to explain their heritage and plight in the United States and to undertaking their imaginative and prescient of redemption to the larger state . . . A needs to read." --Craig Steven Wilder, big apple Newsday "A significant contribution . . . superbly narrated." --Rembert Weakland, the hot York instances publication overview

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A few countervailing voices protested the inaccuracy of this consensus version of our history, but in the main, black people and their culture remained absent from courses in American history down to the 1960s. We were, so to speak, invisible. And the results of invisibility were devastating. In the absence of black history, a myth of the American past developed, a myth that denied black people any past of significance. Implicitly, and sometimes explicitly, they were dismissed by major historians as mere imitators of white culture.

In sermon after sermon, a succession of New England divines deciphered droughts, epidemics, Indian attacks, and other misfortunes as tokens of God's displeasure over the sins of the nation. Unless people took the opportunity to humble themselves, repent, and reform, they might expect much more of the same. Implicit, however, in this understanding was the danger of seeing Page 30 the will of God in the actions of America's settlers. Winthrop was too good a Puritan to succumb to this temptation. Protected by his belief in the total sovereignty of God, he knew that the relationship between God's will and human action was one-sided and that the proper human attitude was trust in God, not confidence in man.

The essays collected in this book represent the result of my attempts to understand the religious history of black Americans and to ascertain what that particular history means for the nation as a whole. Most of the essays collected in this volume (seven of the eleven) have been published previously; some are new; a few have circulated widely in photocopy. Students and colleagues convinced me that gathering them in one place would make them more accessible. I hope that this collection may serve another purpose as well, encouraging renewed discussion of the racial and religious history of the nation as we move rapidly toward the end of the twentieth century, a century dominated, as W.

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A Fire in the Bones by Albert J. Raboteau


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