Black, British and de-churched: a critical investigation of conservative Bible reading groups a Afroasiatic diasporic religious movements in London

PhD Thesis

Louis, E. 2022. Black, British and de-churched: a critical investigation of conservative Bible reading groups a Afroasiatic diasporic religious movements in London. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Human and Education Studies
AuthorsLouis, E.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy

This research aims to critically investigate a diasporic religious phenomenon - why are some Black-British Christians leaving the Church and joining other bible-based Black religions that have developed within the Caribbean and American diaspora during enslavement, segregation, and the civil rights era? Furthermore, how have they continued to be an ongoing influence on the fringes of the Black-British Church?

Several interlinked dialogues are crucial to identifying the key concepts that will support my analysis. Black Liberation theologies, theologically and philosophically, subvert mainstream Christianity by politicising the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ. However, it is limited in its scope to deal with ethnoreligious claims for genealogical and divine origins. Postcolonial theologies seek to radically dismantle Western Christianity, applying alternative hermeneutical lenses for Bible reading that is inclusive, empowering and allows for the participation of the marginalised; the limitations of this methodology are what I recognise to be core ideals, particularly the postcolonial approach to contextualisation. However, there are two underestimated conversation partners that I want to draw into this discussion. The first is conservative evangelicalism (conceptualised) because my intuition is that the undergirding mechanisms of this perspective have a significant influence on the De-Churched perspective and speak to the gaps that liberationist/postcolonial discussions leave behind when discussing racism, justice and theology. Most significantly, I turn to the teachings of the Afroasiatic religions I have selected: Rastafari, Nation of Islam, The Holy Qubtic Church, and (Black) Hebrew Israelites, as essential conversation partners to understand their influence on twenty-first-century Black-British de-churched. Afroasiatic Diasporic Religions are controversially critical of Western Christendom and its connections to slavery and European colonialism; the challenge then is to understand Afroasiatic religious beliefs in light of their influence on the Black, British and de-churched while conversing with the other dominant methodological approaches.

KeywordsConservative Bible reading groups; Afroasiatic diasporic religious movements in London; Critical investigation
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Deposited22 Aug 2022
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