North/West African Conflicts and Interfaith Interventionism

January 25, 2013

By R. Drew Smith

There are various renditions of an adage that goes something like this: “When the West sneezes, Africa catches a cold.”  This alludes to the fact that global system crises of any sort have an especially deleterious effect upon more precariously positioned members.  Globally expanding terrorism and the war on terror have overtaken many parts of Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa, fomenting or exacerbating breakdowns in democratic forms of community building and conflict resolution. Read more

Black Religion Scholarship’s Public Reach

By R. Drew Smith

In a richly insightful reflection on the public contributions and prospects of black religion scholarship, Gayraud Wilmore’s 1999 essay on “Black Theology at the Turn of the Century” (published in Dwight Hopkins’ Black Faith and Public Talk) outlines several “unmet needs” pertaining to “the future of African American religious thought and praxis.” One of the unmet needs identified by Wilmore is “a renewed contact and bonding with African, Caribbean, and black Latin American churches, mosques, intellectuals and religious leaders” and with the “religiously oriented African Diaspora” in England, the European continent, and elsewhere. “The time is ripe for our church people and theologians to forge new, mutually beneficial relationships with brothers and sisters abroad,” writes Wilmore thirty years after “Black Theology” began coursing its way through black religious thought and practice, and five years after the 1994 democratic transition in South Africa signaled the end of white minority rule on the African continent.

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