Forged in the Fiery Furnace

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"A fine introduction to its topic and provides a broad overview of its development in both Protestant and Catholic traditions."--The Mennonite

Todays vibrant African American spiritual traditions have their roots in the lives of Africans who arrived as slaves in North America, bringing with them the richness and texture of their cultures and faith. In the words of Dr. Hayes, "The world view, traditions, stories, musicality, and religious beliefs of their African ancestors were preserved . . . built upon, syncretized with new understandings and ideas, and passed down from generation to generation, mother to son, father to daughter."

In eight chapters, Hayes describes the origins of African American spirituality, developments during slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the periods of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement; the manifestations of this spirituality in music and in the Black churches; the particular contributions of Black women; and the spirituality of key Black leaders.

Diana L. Hayes, professor emerita of systematic theology at Georgetown University, is a popular lecturer and the author of several books, including Trouble Don't Always Last: Soul Prayers (Liturgical, 1995), Were You There? Stations of the Cross (Orbis, 1999) and Standing in the Shoes My Mother Made (Fortress, 2010). She is also co-editor of Taking Down Our Harps: Black Catholics in the United States (Orbis, 1998). She lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Book Details

Forged in the Fiery Furnace
African American Spirituality
Diana L. Hayes
Offers a timely overview of the religious history of African Americans with focused definitions and descriptions of African American spirituality. Given the current state of racial tensions in the United States and elsewhere, it stands as a helpful resource for increasing racial awareness in general and for promoting cultivation of a faith-based vision of racial reconciliation and justice among both Catholics and Protestants.
"Drawing on recent studies, Diana Hayes enumerates the foundational gifts of the African heritage, values that mesh well with the teachings and values of Christianity, whether introduced to African peoples in their homeland or America."
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