NO ILL WILL: The Experience of a Black Conservative Lutheran in the Civil Rights-Era South
Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference
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Black Lutheranism can be described as Black Liberation Theology within the Lutheran tradition. After the late 1960s, when Black Power and liberation theology influenced American society, black Lutherans, pastors and laymen, began a much more intense dialogue through the 1970s about the meaning of being black and Lutheran. In 1968, at the urging of Albert Pero, a group of black Lutherans from multiple Lutheran organizations met in Chicago to form the Association of Black Lutheran Churchmen. After that organization “died” in 1972, Pero and others continued to develop and express their views on Black Lutheranism. But Black Lutheranism is more than blacks as Lutherans. According to Pero, the presence of Black Lutheranism “is due to the failure of Christian theologians to relate the gospel of Christ to the pain and suffering of being black in racist . . . societies which include Lutherans.” However not all black Lutherans would identify with Black Lutheranism. Rather, many, especially many who were raised in a theologically conservative context, continued to hold on to a theological conservatism.
Chariton, J.D., No Ill Will’: The Experience of a Black Conservative Lutheran in the Civil Rights-Era South.” Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference (2018) 9;181-202. Posted with permission.