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African American Studies


"As an academically informed enterprise, African American theology began in the late 1960s when African American scholars and progressive pastors sought to shape the religious nature and meaning of social transformation in the wake of the major successes of the civil rights movement. African American theology—which includes black theology and womanist theology—arose as a theological and religious response to injustice. It revolved around epistemologies, ontologies, and other ideas that were meant to speak theologically to the lived experience of African Americans. This book explores sources, doctrines, internal debates, current challenges, and future prospects concerning African American theology. It discusses the Christian tradition, scripture, culture / cultural production, African American history, and African American experience in relation to African American theology, along with doctrines of God, Christology, womanist theology as a corrective to black theology, the importance of embodiment in African American theology, the nature and meaning of liberation, ontological blackness as the marker of African American identity, and the meaning of globalization for African American theology’s concern with economic justice."

From: Pinn, Anthony B., Katie G. Cannon, Anthony B. Pinn, and Katie G. Cannon. "Introduction." The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology. : Oxford University Press,  July 01, 2014. Oxford Handbooks Online. Date Accessed 12 Feb. 2020 <>.

Selected Reference Works

Research Resources

Uniquely Baylor Resources

In March 2020, alumni from Bishop College, a historic university established in 1881 in Marshall, Texas, for African American Baptist students, have graciously agreed to donate the college’s archives to Baylor University. These archives will be held in The Texas Collection, adding to its holdings that encompass the rich history of Baptist institutions established in our state as well as African American historical archives.

Members of Baylor’s Truett Seminary and University Libraries are looking forward to celebrating and sharing the legacy and memory of Bishop College through the gift of the donated archives. Items in the gifted archives await processing, but the archives may include handwritten sermons, speeches and commencement addresses, letters from significant figures including Martin Luther King, Sr., as well as audio recordings.

As these archives begin to arrive on Baylor’s campus, The Texas Collection will work to process them and will announce when they are available to the public for research.

University Libraries

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