Writing Blackness: A Conversation with Danté Stewart on Theology and Memoir (video)

Posted on November 23, 2021 by PLT Staff

Lecture given by Danté Stewart at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA (November 17, 2021). Stewart reads from and discusses his book Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle (Convergent, 2021). He describes his experiences as a Black man in predominantly white evangelical spaces and his study of Black texts, which led him to not only confront Black death but to also embrace Black life outside the white gaze. To find a listing of all our Occasional Lectures, click here.

In his introductory remarks to this talk, PLT director Charles Marsh said, “This book convicted me of the white liberal conceit that I think I know what’s coming when I pick up a title called Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle. Was I ever wrong. In the margin, I wrote ‘Amens’ and ‘Damns,’ ‘Yesses,’ ‘Whoas,’ and ‘No’s!’ I was not expecting to hear the Lion of Zion roaring through these pages with the tenderness of a father who stands over the bed of his two-year-old son and thinks, ‘I have been thinking so much lately about your future, and our future together.’”

Excerpt: “Black literature is indeed religious literature. It is not cut off from the Black church…I wanted to say that Black literature and Black life and Black love and Black creativity expands theological imagination because it disarms theology from being a weapon to be wielded against ourselves and the world we live in and the people whom we relate to, but re-arms, in some sense dismantles and deconstructs theology from that way of being.”

As part of his talk, Danté cited various Black authors and texts (as well as other voices) that inspired him on his journey. We’ve compiled that list here if you’d like to read along.

  • Video Information
  • Date Recorded:November 17, 2021
  • Location Recorded:Charlottesville, VA
  • Speaker: Dante Stewart
This video is published by the Project on Lived Theology (PLT). For any questions related to its use, please contact PLT (https://www.livedtheology.org//contact/). Copy available for use subject to Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-ND (Attribution required, Non-Commercial use, No Derivatives, 3.0, Unported).