From Christ to Black Jesus: Black Theology's Christological Move as Operative in the Black Coptic Church

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In this article I offer an analysis of the Christological framework of the Black Coptic Church. I advance the claim that this Black Church tradition represents a practice of Black liberation theology. Black theology begins in slavery within the “Invisible institution.” Yet the academic articulation of Black theology does not manifest until the 1960s. The Black Coptic Church, since the early 1930s, has represented, in praxis, a religious and theological proclamation of the theological motifs one finds in Black liberation theology. This article focuses on the Christology of the Black Coptic Church, which is locatable in the church's theological pronunciation of a Black Jesus, which I refer to as “Black Jesusology.” This is achieved via a critique of the Chalcedonian Definition of Faith and its attempt to develop a dual nature formula of Jesus, which in essence, relegates the humanity of Jesus to the background, while elevating the presence of the Divine Logos as the essential Person in the act of salvation. I offer a review of Kelly Brown-Douglass's The Black Christ as an entrée into the “Black Jesusology” of the Black Coptic Church, while introducing a “hermeneutic of de-indoctrination” as the center of this Christological paradigm. Finally, I offer a glimpse into the work of Black Jesus (soteriology) in the tradition of the Black Coptic Church.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-251
Number of pages17
JournalBlack Theology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Black Christ
  • Black Coptic Church
  • Black Jesusology
  • Christology
  • Divine Logos
  • Kelly Brown-Douglass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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