As Mark Stricherz points out, Jeremiah Wright’s sermons may have more to do with how his values and beliefs were shaped by the likes of Eldridge Cleaver and Stokley Carmichael than by his theological beliefs.
Seeking the roots of Wright’s audacityPosted by Mark StricherzMr. Wright, 66, who last month fulfilled longstanding plans to retire, is a beloved figure in African-American Christian circles and a frequent guest in pulpits around the country. Since he arrived at Trinity in 1972, he has built a 6,000-member congregation through his blunt, charismatic preaching, which melds detailed scriptural analysis, black power, Afrocentrism and an emphasis on social justice; Mr. Obama praised the last quality in Friday’s statement.His most powerful influence, said several ministers and scholars who have followed his career, is black liberation theology, which interprets the Bible as a guide to combating oppression of African-Americans. Granted, the two explanations are not mutually exclusive. Every theology is rooted in some historical era. Yet readers of the two stories are confused. Does Wright’s theology owe more to “Soul on Ice” or “A Black Theology of Liberation.” (To her credit, Kantor quoted James Cone, the author of the latter book.)If the public were better informed about this question, they would know more about Obama and Wright.