The African Diaspora: History, Religions & CulturesHS 3325 (BC/ARS Introductory Seminar)
This team taught course is designed to fulfill the introduction requirement for students enrolled in the GTU’s Black Church/Africana Religious Studies certificate program. The course aims to provide students with the historical background, analytical tools, and spatial framework to situate the black church within a perspective now designated as “global” and to understand it as but one of the multi-varied expressions of black religion.
The first seven sessions of this course focuses on key topics constituting African Diaspora/Africana studies. We begin with a spatial and historical overview of African Diaspora/Africana Studies constituted by West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the US. Thus, this course will serve as the broader/global spatial and historical framework for situating and engaging in Black Church Studies.
After the first seven class sessions pertaining more properly to Africana Religious Studies, we will assume a topical approach in introducing students to the discipline of Black Church Studies. These sessions will be led by other African American GTU faculty whose teaching and research will enable us to approach various topics with a degree of depth that would not have been possible otherwise. Such topics will include the following: African American and African Roman Catholics, Womanist Theologies, Issues in Black Pastoral Care, African American Biblical Interpretation, Black Theology, etc.
Requirements: Students will demonstrate in a final term paper (12-15 typed, double-spaced) that they have gained a comprehensive knowledge of the religions, cultures and history of blacks in the Atlantic World from the pre-colonial period to the present as a framework for critically thinking and theologizing about the modern world and the ministry and mission of the Black Church.
I. Reading Assignments and Topics
Week1: Sept. 11th : Introduction: Problems and Methods in Africana/Black Church Studies. [Noel]
1) Harris, J. E., “The African Diaspora in the Old and New Worlds,” in General History of Africa, vol. V, pp. 113-36;
2) Knight, F. W., “The African Diaspora,” in General History of Africa, vol. VI, pp. 749-772.
Week 2: Sept 18th : Pre-Colonial History of West Africa. [Noel]
Week 3: Sept 25th : History and Religions of Africans in the Caribbean and Latin America. [Noel]
Week 4: Oct. 2nd : History and Religions of Africans in North America. [Noel]
Week 5: Oct. 9th : THE AFRICAN DIASPORA & ROMAN CATHOLICISM.
Week 6: Oct. 16th : The Art, Music & Literature of the African Diaspora. [Noel]
Week7: Oct. 23rd : African American Missionaries in Africa in the Nineteenth Century. [Noel]
Oct. 30th READING WEEK
Week 8 : Nov. 6th : Garveyism, Pan-Africanism, Black Nationalism, African Diasporic Independence Movements and the Modern Political-Economy. [Noel]
Week 9: Nov. 13th : INTRODUCTION TO TWIENTIETH CENTURY BLACK THEOLOGY. [Quick]
Week 10: Nov. 20th : INTRODUCTION TO WOMANIST THEOLOGY. [Nash]
Week 11: Nov 27th : ISSUES IN BLACK PASTORAL CARE & COUNSELING.
Week 12: Dec. 4th : PROBLEMS & METHODS IN BLACK CHURCH COMMUNITY OUTREACH & MISSIONS.