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Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church

Author: 
Barbara A. Holmes (Author)
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Description

Holmes's research — through oral histories, church records, and written accounts — details not only ways in which contemplative experience is built into African American collective worship but also the legacy of African monasticism, a history of spiritual exemplars, and unique meditative worship practices.
ISBN: 
9780800636432
Price: 
$24.00
Release date: 
July 8, 2004
Pages: 
224
Width: 
5.50
Height: 
8.50

Endorsements

"No one has ever spoken of black church 'contemplative practices' until Barbara Holmes. Indeed, like the black church event, her book leads us to a threshold of joy unspeakable. It is up to us to acknowledge a spiritual abiding as gift. In today's prosperity — and profit-driven messages, liturgies propelled by technological wizardry, and stale formulas for marks of individual salvation, how novel and refreshing is the notion that people of faith require patience to feel the in-breaking of and envelopment by the divine spirit."
— Dwight N. Hopkins, Professor of Theology, University of Chicago Divinity School

"From the powerful secrets of the African American hush arbors to today's megachurches, Holmes reads African American religious thought and practice, weaving an intriguing description of and apology for the more contemplative practices of African Americans. Those who wish to explore the complex nature of human engagement with spirit would do well to read this book."
— Anthony B. Pinn, Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, Rice University

"Barbara Holmes offers the insight that the best religious practices of African Americans have been truly contemplative, involving the hold dance and the march for justice, inner reflection and blissful praise. She has grounded the African American and Americana tradition beyond shallow and superficial emotion and in the realm of genuine and authentic spirituality."
— Frank A. Thomas, Senior Pastor, Mississippi Boulevard Church, Memphis

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Introduction: An Unlikely Legacy

  1. Contemplation: A Cultural and Spiritual History
  2. Retrieving Lost Legacies: Contemplation in West Africa
  3. Every Shut Eye Ain't Sleep: The Inner Life during Slavery
  4. Come Ye Disconsolate: Contemplations in Black Church Congregational Life
  5. Joy Comes in the Morning: Contemplative Themes in African American Biblical Interpretation
  6. Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Contemplation, Activism, and Praxis
  7. At the Crossroads: Secular Reclamations of the Contemplative Life

    Afterword: Toward a Future Together
    Notes
    Index