By Dean Kelly Brown Douglas
How do we really know that God cares when Black people are still getting killed? How long do we have to wait for the justice of God? I get it, that Christ is Black, but that doesn’t seem to be helping us right now. These questions from her son prompted theologian Kelly Brown Douglas to undertake this soul-searching reflection. The killing of George Floyd and the ongoing litany of Black victims raised questions about the persistence of white supremacy in this nation, leading her to reflect on how a “white way of knowing” has come to dominate American identity and even to shape the consciousness of Christians. In exploring the message of Confederate monuments and the “Make America Great Again” slogan, she examines the failures of even “good white Christians” and struggles with the hope that “Black Lives Matter,” before reaching deep into her own experience and the faith of Black folks to find her way back to Resurrection Hope.
The Very Reverend Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Theology at Union. She is the author of several books including Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective (1999), What’s Faith Got to Do with It: Black Bodies/Christian Souls (2005), and Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (2015).
“Kelly Brown Douglas is a towering theologian in this Age of Black Lives Matter who builds on and goes beyond the profound legacies of James Cone and James Baldwin, Katie Cannon and Delores Williams! Resurrection Hope takes us on a courageous and visionary journey full of brilliant scholarship, political struggle and spiritual determination. And the rich dialogue with her precious son Desmond alongside the prophetic witness of her grandmother Helen Vivian Dorsey propels us toward a future of love, laughter and liberation!”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy & Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary
“Resurrection Hope is beautiful, searing, and important. It speaks to the moment and is much like Kelly Douglas’s previous book, Stand Your Ground, but comes to us ten years later, speaking to a larger Moment. Many books fade at mid-point or so. The chapters in this one keep building on each other, and the best chapter is the last one, on cross and resurrection.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary
“Grounded in personal engagement with our social world defined by the language and rituals of anti–Black racism, Resurrection Hope confronts the deep uncertainties generated by our circumstances. Douglas wrestles with religious doubt stemming from an effort to maintain the viability of faith in a context of continued Black death — and in the process forges a powerful theological understanding of our times that confronts whiteness and its depth of meaning and impact. Exposed for the reader’s viewing is the warped moral imagination making possible such profound hate. Douglas calls for a reworking of our moral imaginary that opens us to practices of radical transformation. Take this theological journey with Douglas, and be all the better for it!.”
ANTHONY B. PINN,
author of Interplay of Things: Religion, Art, and Presence Together