The Mount of Vision: African American Prophetic Tradition, 1800-1950

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OUP USA, Oct 18, 2012 - History - 281 pages
Christopher Z. Hobson offers the first in-depth study of prophetic traditions in African American religion. Drawing on contemporary speeches, essays, sermons, reminiscences, and works of theological speculation from 1800 to 1950, he shows how African American prophets shared a belief in a ''God of the oppressed:'' a God who tested the nation's ability to move toward justice and who showed favor toward struggles for equality. The Mount of Vision also examines the conflict between the African American prophets who believed that the nation could one day be redeemed through struggle, and those who felt that its hypocrisy and malevolence lay too deep for redemption. Contrary to the prevalent view that black nationalism is the strongest African American justice tradition, Hobson argues that the reformative tradition in prophecy has been most important and constant in the struggle for equality, and has sparked a politics of prophetic integrationism spanning most of two centuries. Hobson shows too the special role of millennial teaching in sustaining hope for oppressed people and cross-fertilizing other prophecy traditions. The Mount of Vision incorporates a wide range of biblical scholarship illuminating diverse prophetic traditions as well as recent studies in politics and culture. It concludes with an examination of the meaning of African American prohecy today, in the time of the first African American presidency, the semicentenary of the civil rights movement, and the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War: paradoxical moments in which our ''post-racial'' society is still pervaded by injustice, and prophecy is not fulfilled but endures as a challenge.
 

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Contents

African American Prophecy and Its Biblical Foundations
3
Providence Saving History and Theodicy
45
Contending Voices in Prophecy
76
Millennium and Apocalypse
117
Prophetic Vocation
149
Prophecy Now
183
Notes
203
Bibliography
247
Index
265
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About the author (2012)


Christopher Z. Hobson is the author of The Chained Boy, a study of William Blake's political vision, Blake and Homosexuality, and essays on Blake, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and John Jasper. He is Associate Professor of English at State University of New York, College at Old Westbury.

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