Reciprocal Imaginings: Theology, Relationality, and Black Male Identity

“This project explores how black male identity formation is impacted by womanist religious thought, philosophical ethics, and theological discourses in African American Christianity. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Darrius D Hills Morgan State University Contact Me

About this first book grant for scholars of color

The quandaries of sexism and misogyny are among the most pertinent issues confronting Christian communities in America. I write this book to propose an alternative interpretation of male identity formation that counters the patriarchal underpinnings that too frequently contour personal relationships, social practices, and polity arrangements within American churches and among its clergy. This book represents my effort to discuss the interplay between religion, race, and gender with specific attention to African American men and black religious culture.

Particularly, this book privileges womanist religious thought as a unique source for theological reflection on identity construction among black men, and in black church culture. Beyond the obvious concerns about African American men and black churches, the book also embodies broader implications for American religious life.

If American Christianity is to remain relevant in the 21st century, it must be responsive to the experiences and insights of communities that have normally been marginalized in the development of its mission and message. By grounding my insights in womanist religious thought, this book offers a resource featuring theological scholarship geared toward reflecting on the connection between religion, race, and gender to further address the larger patterns of (mis)treatment of women in the church and in everyday life.

My book will provide a resource to scholars and clergy to wrestle with sexism in order to better grasp how theological discourses can be utilized in the imagining of a world that challenges patriarchal mechanisms of relating. Correcting sexism and patriarchy, in the pulpit, the pew, the ivory tower, and within one's self-identity, offers the promise of dignity and wholeness in the lives of women and men.