Special Issue "Looking Back, Moving Forward: Black Religions in the United States"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stephanie Y. Mitchem

Department of Religious Studies, University of South Carolina, Rutledge 330, 902 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 1-803-777-4100
Interests: Empowerment of women; Religious freedom/religious intolerance; African American/Diasporan women aiming for spiritual wholeness; Human rights in the United States; The quest to build community

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

2018 is a particularly significant moment to consider the past and future development of black religions in the US. Two giants of black religious development—Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon and Dr. James H. Cone—died and left a legacy of profound scholarship in womanist and black theology and ethics. Both challenged the canonical strictures of traditional Western and primarily Christian theology. Cone’s work, in conjunction with activists of the 1960s, considered the links between black power and black theology, affirming and solidifying a historic trajectory of black American liberation theology. Cannon, in the 1980s, came to expand the concept of liberation by focusing analyses by focusing on analyses of black women’s religious lives. Their pivotal work drew from history, culture, theology and black embodied experiences even as they pointed toward a preferred future. Their work certainly influenced contemporary scholars of religion, especially in the United States.

But what does the future hold? What are the new directions and driving edges of black American religion? What are the challenges and are there new connections with activism? Are these growing edged connected with or breaking from past black and womanist theology and ethics?

The peer reviewed essays to be included in this issue of Religions will consider:

  1. Focused analyses of significant scholarly achievements of Katie G. Cannon and James H. Cone, their historic achievements in black religious thought but especially essays that point to the ways their work did or did not bridge into recent theological and ethical constructions, and
  2. New directions and challenges for scholarly research in black relgious thought, theologies, and ethics.

This issue has the advantage of providing a focus on black religion in the United States from a variety of perspectives in order to encourage deeper discussions. We particularly seek groundbreaking thought that pushes the boundaries of scholarship, in the spirits of Cone and Cannon.

Prof. Dr. Stephanie Y. Mitchem
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • race
  • liberation
  • black theology and ethics
  • womanist theology and ethics
  • social justice
  • activism
  • historic and contemporary analyses

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
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