Medium Post 6
For the past two weeks, our class has been discussing the works of Cotton Mather, Dr. King, and James Cohn. I thought it was interesting how each of these people used the bible as the foundation for their morality, yet at times had very different views on certain issues. I believe that this week’s materials expand on the reasons to why these three people had differing views and also provide new input as well.
In the introduction to the Long piece, Long defines religion as how one comes to terms with their place in the world. Long argues that black religions come from the viewpoint of those who have been oppressed throughout time in society. Long speaks about how religion can be the base for radical critical thought. The Long writing, made me think about the similarities it had with the Sharpe piece we read weeks ago. Long believes that black people have been living in a world where the perceptions of black people are shaped by the ideas of other mainly white people and a world where black people are marginalized. However, Long believes this to be a “religious experience of radical otherness” where black people can “undertake radical internal criticisms of themselves, their situation, and the situation of majority culture.” The religious experience that Long describes to me sounds very similar to the wake work that Sharpe was undertaking and how she believes radical thoughts can stem from the acceptance of being a non citizen. Also, Long’s definition of religion describes why somebody like Cohn would have radically different views than somebody like Mather. Their differing religious views stem from the fact that they have had different experiences that lead them to have a different view of the world. In the Pinn piece that we read this week, I noted Pinn’s idea of how certain rituals were significant. The lynching of black people spread fear and reinforced the oppression of black people. The practice of wearing your “Sunday’s Best” comes from a desire to portray a non workingman image. This practice stems from the position black people were in and their desire to change the perceptions that were signified about them.
This week, we also read a piece about Womanist theology. This piece explained how throughout history, black women have been majorly oppressed and never gain much social progress due to the dominance of males and white females in social movements. Womanist theology is described as an effort that focuses on restoring the rights of black women. This piece reminded me of the Cohn piece that we read earlier in the class. The black woman is identified as an oppressed group and therefore the battle in restoring their rights is one that must be undertaken. Cone believes that the oppression of black people means that god must be on their side and I believe that womanist theology extends and focuses this belief on specifically black women.