Fortress Press

The Social Teaching of the Black Churches

The Social Teaching of the Black Churches

Peter J. Paris (Author)


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In African American culture, the church is instrumental in establishing and maintaining social order. Professor Paris shows that a study of black church teachings reveals black social ethics. These ethics aren't "abstract moral principles, but sociopolitical quests for liberation and freedom."
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800618056
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 162
  • Publication Date January 1, 1985


"Paris has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the black Christian tradition by describing the historical development of its black ethic and highlighting its fundamental principle, which enabled a people to survive, address difficult moral dilemmas, and strive for freedom and justice as Christians in America."
— Home U. Ashby, Jr., McCormick Theological Seminary

"Paris includes all the elements to make this a paradigm for doing good Christian ethics: relevance of a set of moral dilemmas: authenticity and expertise: a constructive analysis; excellent communication."
— William M. Tillman
. Southwestern Journal of Theology

Table of Contents


1. A Surrogate World
Black Religious Scholarship
The Quest for Independence
The Black Christian Tradition as Prophetic Principle
Implications of the Principle for Morality, Religion, and Politics

2. Autonomy in Dilemma
The National Dilemma
The Ecclesiastical Dilemma

3. Moral Agency in Conflict
Person-Society Relationship
The Moral Realm
Education, Economics, Civil Rights
Moral Conflict

4. Political Wisdom in Deficiency
Freedom, Independence, and Racial Justice
The Lack of Political Wisdom
The Black Churches' Implied Sociology
The Black Churches and their Alliances

5. Embodiments of Communal Power
Independence as the Condition for Freedom
The Nature of Power in the Black Churches
Communal Power and Black Power