Studying Black Religion: Contacts/Exchanges and Continuities/Discontinuities

  • James A. Noel
Part of the Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice book series (BRWT)


It is important at the onset to say something about one of the most important and provocative concepts in Charles H. Long’s thinking— that of materiality. I attempt to elucidate materiality in terms of the way matter is imagined in the next chapter. Indeed, we will be coming at this term from numerous angles through this book because no single definition can exhaust the full range of meanings it invokes or do justice to what it represents about Long’s intuition of the way human experience is constituted through religion. The term, materiality, is in no way related to the similar sounding term, materialism. Materialism refers to an epistemological stance that presumes all one can know about reality through one’s experiences of matter. Long employs the term materiality to challenge our common sense assumptions about so-called matter as distinguished from whatever we regard as nonmatter—spirit falls also under this category.


Culture Area Religious Experience Slave Trade African Society African American Culture 
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© James A. Noel 2009

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  • James A. Noel

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