Speaker: Professor Rosetta Ross, Spelman College, USA

Title: Decolonizing God: Theoretical Insights Into African American Religion and Black Women’s Activism

When: September 20, 2021, 6-7 p.m. BST (London’s Time Zone)


Using Darlene Clark Hine’s theory of “dissemblance” and Charles Long’s analysis of “the religious element” in African American religions, the lecture argues that a defining feature of black religion is confronting realities of being involuntarily present in the United States. As African Americans came to terms with social and cultural practices that dehumanized them, their religions emerged as care, resistance, and protest. For black women, practices of dissemblance functioned “to protect the sanctity of inner aspects of their lives,” the imaginative space where they encountered religious ideas and conceived practices to enact them.

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