By E. Kornegay
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Edited by means of Matthias Bley (University of Heidelberg), Nikolas Jaspert (University of Heidelberg) and Stefan Köck (Rühr collage Bochum).
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Extra resources for A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin's Blues Project and Gospel Prose
87 Second, what is the defense? Referring to the use of Joban allegory, Jeremy Marousis-Bush says that “anyone who has been raised in a strict Christian, bible-based environment” could easily make allegorical connections between the trouble in their lives and religious belief. ”88 The idea of a “strict-Christian, bible-based environment is key to understanding Baldwin’s allegorical defense. Baldwin is not in tension with or absconding any portion of his religious heritage: he is in tension with puritanism and is using black religious allegory to overcome sublimation of the black body.
I have never found this remark very funny. 42 Puritanism as a fundamental historical social-cultural-religious problem for Baldwin is expressed and symbolized as a part “rock” of inheritance, which includes puritan beliefs in the American Republic. 43 Puritanism is an important theme within Baldwin’s corpus. The symbolic and mythological language of puritanism provides the metaphorical equation of twoness with produces the likenedness for what it means to be both black and religious in America.
Homophobia and sexism are two primary examples of depravity and puritanism found in the black church. Most if not all critiques of Baldwin’s work centers on the issue of his embrace of homosexuality and the black body. The black church is a site of internalized oppression buried beneath black Christian church claims and symbols of respectability. 36 This means that the black church and its use of the Christian Gospel are symbols of redemption from the contagion of black sexuality and proclaiming proper sexual conduct.