African American Spirituality: Through Another Lens

Volume 10
Issue 2, Fall 2017
African American Spirituality: Through Another Lens

Abstract. African American spirituality provides a rich lens into the heart and soul of the black church experience, often overlooked in the Christian spiritual formation literature. By addressing this lacuna, this essay focuses on three primary shaping qualities of history: the effects of slavery, the Civil Rights Movement under Dr. Martin Luther King’s leadership, and the emergence of the Black Church. Four spiritual practices that influence African American spirituality highlight the historical and cultural context of being “forged in the fiery furnace,” including worship, preaching and Scripture, the community of faith and prayer, and community outreach. The essay concludes by recognizing four areas of the lived experiences of African Americans from which the global church can glean: (1) persevering in pain and suffering, (2) turning to God for strength, (3) experiencing a living and passionate faith, and (4) affirming God’s intention for freedom and justice to be afforded to every individual.

Diane J. Chandler
159 - 181
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