A Black Theology of Divine Violence

Matthews, Donald Henry

This paper claims that the black church community had a well-articulated theology which included a prominent place for a Black Theology of Divine Violence. The investigation of the early Black historical narration including the spirituals, abolitionist writings and oral narratives reveal that Black Christians advocated and used violence as a necessary action for the achievement of black liberation. Black Christians did not understand the use of violence as being antithetical to the Theological Ethical norms of Christian Love. They testified, sang and wrote about the presence of the Divine in their violent actions for freedom. This fact has been overshadowed by the nonviolent strategy of Martin L. King, Jr. and the Civil Right movement. The position of this paper is that King’s theology made a virtue out of a necessity. It understands nonviolent theological ethics as a strategy rather than the only ethical response to Black suffering.


Also Published In

Black Theology Papers Project

More About This Work

Published Here
August 17, 2022