Society for the Study of Black Religion

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The Society for the Study of Black Religion is the oldest scholarly society dedicated to the study of the African-American religious experience. It is dedicated to "scholarly research and discussion about the religious experiences of Blacks."[1]


The SSBR was founded in 1970 to support black religious scholars' critical inquiry into the foundations of black theology.[2] The intellectual ferment which led to the group's founding began with Joseph B. Washington's publication of the seminal Black Religion in 1964,[3] and continued with the publication of James H. Cone's Black Theology and Black Power in 1969.[4]

The group chose the name "religion" rather than "theology" to avoid the constraints imposed by the narrower term.[5] Charles Shelby Rooks, who would later become the first African-American head of a traditionally white-led seminary at the Chicago Theological Seminary, took a leading role in the founding and served as the SSBR's first elected president.[6]


Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SSBR". Society for the Study of Black Religion. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  2. ^ Paris, Peter J. (1991). "Overcoming Alienation in Theological Education". In Barbara G. Wheeler & Edward Farley. Shifting Boundaries. p. 183. ISBN 9780664251727.
  3. ^ Rooks, Charles Shelby (1990). Revolution in Zion: Reshaping African American Ministry, 1960-1974 : a Biography in the First Person. Pilgrim Press. p. 134.
  4. ^ Long, Charles H. (2003). "Assessment and New Departures for a Study of Black Religion". In Cornel West & Eddie S. Glaude. African American Religious Thought: An Anthology. p. 223.
  5. ^ Paris, Peter J. (2014). "The African in African American Theology". The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology. p. 438. ISBN 9780199755653.
  6. ^ Young, Henry J. (1979). Major Black Religious Leaders Since 1940. 2. p. 107.
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of African American Religions. p. 409.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Society for the Study of Black Religion: 42nd Annual Meeting" (PDF).
  9. ^ "Bio: Emilie M. Townes". Vanderbilt University. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  10. ^ "Dr. Stephen G. Ray, Jr. Named President-Elect of the Society for the Study of Black Religion". Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

External links[edit]