“"What does it mean to be Black, SGL/LGBTIQA+-identified, and saved?" This dissertation gestures toward an answer by way of a constructive theology of atonement and Black queer Christian life. ”
This dissertation argues that extant Black, womanist, and queer critiques of the Christian doctrine of atonement insufficiently speak to the lives of Black SGL/LGBTIQA+ Christians. In response, the dissertation considers the person and work of Jesus Christ through an engagement with key texts by Karl Barth, James H. Cone, Delores S. Williams, and JoAnne Marie Terrell. Using insights from these authors, it develops an account of Jesus Christ that disrupts the cisnormative and heteronormative cultural logics which oppress Black SGL/LGBTIQA+ people. It then argues that Christ, through his self-offering, unites Black SGL, queer, and trans* people to himself and takes them up into the very life of the triune God such that they are fully reconciled, justified, sanctified, and liberated. Further, the dissertation argues that the saving power of the triune God grounds a liberative Christian ethic of human freedom for Black SGL, queer, and trans* lives as the Spirit and the risen Christ empower them to bear witness to the joy of salvation before the church and world. The result, overall, is a constructive Black queer theology of atonement and Christian life.