I should start by saying that I’m not really a fan of Liberation theology. But, that being said, I know that I have read very little Liberation theology, so my being ‘meh’ towards LT is based on summaries and overviews. That’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to reading this book, because I’ll get to go a little more in-depth.
So, while I’m excited to read and to learn, I’m also kind of scared of what lays ahead.
I’m scared of what happens if I don’t agree with it.
If I disagree strongly with Cone, and Black LT in general, I’m scared that people will say, “well, you just don’t get it, because you’re not one of us.” Will my disagreement with Cone be because I’m not part of the culture? All theology is influenced by culture, obviously, but, my life experience of being a) Canadian, b) female, c)Scot-Ukrainian (translation: the palest pasty white you’ve ever seen), d) growing up in a multi-ethnic neighbourhood (mainly Italian, Vietnamese and Jewish) is so far removed from what Cone and other Black Liberation Theologians experienced in the U.S.
I’m scared of what happens if I agree with it.
Will people say, “you can’t really agree, because you haven’t lived it. It’s ours.” Should specific theologies be limited to a specific culture?
I’m scared of what happens if I just don’t get it.
Will people say, “Of course you don’t get it, you can’t get it. Don’t even try.”
I’ve seen the hypothetical responses listed above in action, usually within Feminist circles. To disagree with their position just proves that I’m still a product of the patriarchy, and thus my concerns, disagreements, etc., are tainted.
So here’s my question: How open is Black Liberation Theology to critique, and interaction? Is there room for dialogue? Can I be informed and influenced by Black Liberation Theology, and is there any room for this pasty, female Canadian at the discussion table?