Title

Just Above My Head: James Baldwin's Quest for Belief

Publication Title

Literature & Theology

Publication Date

9-1997

Document Type

Article

Keywords

James Baldwin, belief

Disciplines

American Literature | English Language and Literature

Abstract

The work of James Baldwin has suffered from much critical misunderstanding due largely to critics' dualistlic approach, which sets political concerns against spiritual ones, emphasizes only the former in Baldwin's work, and misses his complex examination of individual experience and responsibility. Rather than a dichotomous thinker, Baldwin is a dialectician who strives to respect the necessary vital tension between political reality and spiritual vision. ALthough he rails passionately against the sins of professed Christians and the institutuional church, has deep though troubled faith in God and in Christian ideals has gone all but unrecognized. This article discusses the twin spaces of Baldwin's relationship with Christianity, including his neglected Christian faith and his implicit theology.

Publisher

Oxford University Press


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