Introduction to African American Spirituality
From Orbis Books - Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
Maryknoll, New York – February 1, 2012 – Forged In The Fiery Furnace, an introduction to African American spirituality that provides a broad overview of developments in Protestant and Catholic traditions, is the latest book by Diana L. Hayes, professor emerita of systematic theology at Georgetown University.
Forged In The Fiery Furnace is published by Orbis Books, the book division of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Within its 232 pages, Dr. Hayes describes the origins of this distinctive spirituality, beginning in Africa and then moving across the Atlantic Ocean during the slave trade.
Dr. Hayes explains how their African roots helped the enslaved develop a spirituality of resistance leading up to the American Civil War and Reconstruction. She also describes the numerous developments that occurred between the periods of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement along with the manifestations of the spirituality in music and in African American churches. At the end, Dr. Hayes reflects on the contributions of black women and the various practices of spirituality by influential black male liberation theologians.
Africans who arrived as slaves in North America from towns and villages in west and central Africa brought with them the richness and texture of their cultures and faith.
"The world view, traditions, stories, musicality, and religious beliefs of their African ancestors," in the words of Dr. Hayes, "were preserved... and passed down from generation to generation, mother to son, father to daughter," shaping the African American spiritual traditions that have nourished generations of descendants.
Previous books by Dr. Hayes, who now is retired and lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia, include Were You There? Stations of the Cross (Orbis, 1999). She also was co-editor of Taking Down Our Harps: Black Catholics in the United States (Orbis, 1998). Dr. Hayes will teach at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago this June and at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans during July.
Founded during 1970, Orbis Books endeavors to publish works that enlighten the mind, nourish the spirit, and challenge the conscience. Orbis seeks to explore the global dimensions of Christian faith and mission, to invite dialogue with diverse cultures and religious traditions, and to serve the cause of reconciliation and peace. Learn more at http://www.orbisbooks.com/ or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/orbisbooks.
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