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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19177

Title: The Black Oneness Church in Perspective
Authors: Brown Spencer, Elaine
Advisor: Dei, George Jerry Sefa
Department: Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
Keywords: Black Church
Caribbean Diaspora
Black Culture
Black Religion
Black Spirituality
whiteness as theology
religious spirituality
black identity
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2010
Abstract: This qualitative study examines the social, spiritual and political role the Black Oneness Churches play in Black communities. It also provides an anti-colonial examination of the Afro-Caribbean Oneness churches to understand how it functioned in the formation and defense of the emerging Black communities for the period 1960-1980. This project is based on qualitative interviews and focus groups conducted with Black Clergy and Black women in the Oneness church of the Greater Toronto area. This study is based on the following four objectives: 1. Understanding the central importance of the Black Oneness Pentecostal Church post 1960 to Black communities. 2. Providing a voice for those of the Black Church that are currently underrepresented in academic scholarship. 3. Examining how the Black Church responds to allegations of its own complicities in colonial practices. 4. Engage spirituality as a legitimate location and space from which to know and resist colonization. The study also introduces an emerging framework entitled: Whiteness as Theology. This framework is a critique of the theological discourse of Whiteness and the enduring relevance of the Black Church in a pluralistic Afro-Christian culture. The data collected reveal that while the Black Church operated as a social welfare institution that assisted thousands of new black immigrants, the inception of the church was political and in protest to racism. Hence, the Black Church is a product of white racism, migration and colonization. The paradox of the Black Church lies in its complicity in colonization while also creating religious forms of resistance. For example, the inception of the Afro-Caribbean Oneness Church was an anti-colonial response to the racism in the White Church. But 40 years later, the insidious nature of colonization has weaved through the church and “prosperity theology” as an impetus of colonialism has reshaped the social justice role of Black Churches.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19177
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education - Doctoral theses

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