I loved getting to sit down with Dr. Julius Bailey, the Eugene Farlough-California Chair in African-American Christianity at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a professor of Religious Studies in the University of Redlands College of Arts & Sciences. It was an honor to hear his wisdom on questions like:
- What roles have traditional African religions played in the formation of American Black Churches?
- How much do you see the Black Church in America as having been influenced by white settler colonial Christianity and to what degree do you see Black American Christianity as an emancipatory, decolonial alternative to white Christianities?
- For those who grew up in various streams of American Black Christianity and have left the(ir) church, what do you wish they knew about her diverse expressions?
- For those who aren’t intimately familiar with American Black churches, what do you wish we knew about her spiritual expressions, cultures, and impacts on American history in general?
- How have new religious movements and parallel religious streams (such as the Nation of Islam, the Five Percenters, and United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors) influenced Black American Christianity and vice-versa?
- How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted American Black Church culture and praxis?
- …and more!
You can catch our entire conversation right here:
Please let me know which question(s) stirred you the most in the comments!
And if you’d like the opportunity to study directly with Dr. Bailey and other renowned faculty, check out the San Francisco Theological Seminary at the University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology. As a founding member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), their students have access to over 200 faculty in the largest consortium of graduate theological education in North America, while maintaining a small, personalized learning environment. I really appreciate their educational approach toward critical thinking, rooted in the intersection of spirituality, theology, biblical studies, and social justice. SFTS runs absolutely brilliant online and on-site programs addressing a variety of urgent spiritual, ministerial, developmental, and even entrepreneurial needs, all with small classrooms and an artisanal level of attention on every student. You can learn more here.