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Reading While Black

African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope [Paperback]

by Mccalley Esau

Helping you read the Bible from the perspective of the Black Church Tradition, Esau Mccalley brings a powerful tool of Biblical interpretation through Reading While Black.

  • For Christians wanting to read the Bible through a new lens

  • Esau Mccalley opens up Black Biblical Interpretations of the Bible

  • You'll discover a new way of engaging with God's word

  • Author

    Mccalley Esau

  • Book Format


  • Publisher

    Intervarsity Press (IVP Academic)

  • Published

    September 2020

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Reading While Black

Today's Price £14.34

Product Description

  • 2021 Christianity Today Book Award - Beautiful Orthodoxy
  • 2020 The Gospel Coalition Book Award - Popular Theology - Honorable Mention
  • 2020 Emerging Public Intellectual Award

Growing up in the American South, Esau McCaulley knew firsthand the ongoing struggle between despair and hope that marks the lives of some in the African American context. A key element in the fight for hope, he discovered, has long been the practice of Bible reading and interpretation that comes out of traditional Black churches. This ecclesial tradition is often disregarded or viewed with suspicion by much of the wider church and academy, but it has something vital to say.

Reading While Black is a personal and scholarly testament to the power and hope of Black biblical interpretation. At a time in which some within the African American community are questioning the place of the Christian faith in the struggle for justice, New Testament scholar McCaulley argues that reading Scripture from the perspective of Black church tradition is invaluable for connecting with a rich faith history and addressing the urgent issues of our times. He advocates for a model of interpretation that involves an ongoing conversation between the collective Black experience and the Bible, in which the particular questions coming out of Black communities are given pride of place and the Bible is given space to respond by affirming, challenging, and, at times, reshaping Black concerns. McCaulley demonstrates this model with studies on how Scripture speaks to topics often overlooked by white interpreters, such as ethnicity, political protest, policing, and slavery.

Ultimately McCaulley calls the church to a dynamic theological engagement with Scripture, in which Christians of diverse backgrounds dialogue with their own social location as well as the cultures of others. Reading While Black moves the conversation forward.


1. The South Got Somethin' to Say: Making Space for Black Ecclesial Interpretation

2. Freedom Is No Fear: The New Testament and a Theology of Policing

3. Tired Feet, Rested Souls: The New Testament and the Political Witness of the Church

4. Reading While Black: The Bible and the Pursuit of Justice

5. Black and Proud: The Bible and Black Identity

6. What Shall We Do With This Rage? The Bible and Black Anger

7. The Freedom of The Slaves: Pennington's Triumph

Conclusion: An Exercise in Hope

Bonus Track: Further Notes on the Development of Black Ecclesial Interpretation

Discussion Guide


Author Index

Scripture Index


  • Author

    Mccalley Esau

  • Book Format


  • Publisher

    Intervarsity Press (IVP Academic)

  • Published

    September 2020

  • Weight


  • Page Count


  • Dimensions

    148 x 227 x 16 mm

  • ISBN


  • ISBN-10


  • Eden Code


More Information

  • Author/Creator: Mccalley Esau

  • ISBN: 9780830854868

  • Publisher: Intervarsity Press (IVP Academic)

  • Release Date: September 2020

  • Weight: 259g

  • Dimensions: 148 x 227 x 16 mm

  • Eden Code: 5228435

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