Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering

Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering

by Sherman A. Jackson


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In his controversial 1973 book, Is God a White Racist?, William R. Jones sharply criticized black theologians for their agnostic approach to black suffering, noting that the doctrine of an ominibenevolent God poses very significant problems for a perennially oppressed community. He proposed a "humanocentric theism" which denies God's sovereignty over human history and imputes autonomous agency to humans. By rendering humans alone responsible for moral evil, Jones's theology freed blacks to revolt against the evil of oppression without revolting against God. Sherman Jackson now places Jones's argument in conversation with the classical schools of Islamic theology. The problem confronting the black community is not simply proving that God exists, says Jackson. The problem, rather, is establishing that God cares. No religious expression that fails to tackle the problem of black suffering can hope to enjoy a durable tenure in the black community. For the Muslim, therefore, it is essential to find a Quranic/Islamic grounding for the protest-oriented agenda of black religion. That is the task Jackson undertakes in this pathbreaking work. Jackson's previous book, Islam and the Blackamerican (OUP 2006) laid the groundwork for this ambitious project. Its sequel, Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering, solidifies Jackson's reputation as the foremost theologian of the black American Islamic movement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199368013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 03/01/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 234
Sales rank: 634,810
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sherman A. Jackson is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Michigan.

Table of Contents

William R. Jones and Challenge of Black Theodicy
The Perduring Problem of Blackness: Beyond Ontological Suffering

Chapter One: The Formative Development of Classical Muslim Theology
The Arabians and Atheological "Peripheral Vision"
Muhammad b. Idr s al-Sh fi' and the Arabian Versus Arab R gime of Sense
Traditionalism and Rationalism: The Rhetoric of Transcendence and the False D tente

Chapter Two: Mu'tazilism and Black Theodicy
Early Development and Basic Contours of Mu'tazilite Theology
Relevant Details of Mu'tazilite Theology
Mu'tazilism and Jones

Chapter Three: Ash'arism and Black Theodicy
Early Development and Basic Contours of Ash'arite Theology
Relevant Details of Ash'arite Theology
Ash'arism and Jones

Chapter Four: M tur dism and Black Theodicy
Early Development and Basic Contours of M tur dite Theology
Relevant Details of M tur dite Theology
M tur dism and Jones

Chapter Five: Traditionalism and Black Theodicy
Early Development and Basic Contours of Traditionalism
Relevant Details of Tradtionalist Theology
Traditionalism and Jones



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