“20 Caribbean Theologians and Biblical Scholars You Should Know”

“20 Caribbean Theologians and Biblical Scholars You Should Know” by Celucien L. Joseph, PhD

The following recommendations highlight the most important theological writings or works of twenty Anglophone Caribbean Theologians and Biblical Scholars. By Anglophone Caribbean, we mean two things: (1) individuals who were born in English-speaking Caribbean countries, and (2) individuals who were not born in the Caribbean but of Anglophone Caribbean descent. Both groups write in the English language and the Caribbean occupies a major place in their scholarship and theological thinking. The order of the listing does not carry any intellectual value or weight.

  1. Idris Hamid (PhD, Theology: Union Theological Seminary)

Recommended Writings:
“The social witness of the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad, 1868-1968” (Doctoral Dissertation, 1976); In Search of new Perspectives (1971); Troubling of the waters; a collection of papers and responses (1973); Out of the depths (1977); A history of the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad 1868-1968 (1980); Theological options for Caribbean Christianity (1983).

2. Noel Leo Erskine (PhD, Systematic Theology: Union Theological Seminary) is Professor of Theology and Ethics at Candler School of Theology/Emory University.

Recommended Writings:
Decolonizing Theology: A Caribbean Perspective (1981); King Among the Theologians(1994); From Garvey to Marley: Rastafari Theology (2005); Black Theology and Pedagogy (2008); Plantation Church: How African American Religion Was Born in Caribbean Slavery (2014); “Black Theology in Jamaica,” Cambridge Companion in Black Theology, Cambridge University Press, September 01, 2012; “What Method for the Oppressed? Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Contribution to Nation-Building in the Caribbean.” In an Inescapable Network of Mutuality: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Globalization of an Ethical Ideal, Cascade Books, August 30, 2013

3. Kortright Davis (D.Phil., Theology: University of Sussex) is Professor of Theology at Howard University School of Divinity.

Recommended Writings:
Emancipation Still Comin’: Explorations in Caribbean Emancipatory Theology(2008); Mission for Caribbean change : Caribbean development as theological enterprise (1982); Cross and crown in Barbados : Caribbean political religion in the late 19th century (2011); African Creative Expressions Of The Divine (1991); Serving With Power : Reviving The Spirit Of Christian Ministry (199); Compassionate love and ebony grace : Christian altruism and people of color (2014).

4. Robert Beckford (PhD, Theology, Culture, and Politics: University of Birmingham) is Professor of Black Theology at The Queen’s Ecumenical Foundation and Birmingham City University.

Recommended Writings:
Jesus is Dread: Black Theology and Black Culture in Britain (1998); Dread and Pentecostal: A Political Theology for the Black Church in Britain (2000); God of the Rahtid : Redeeming Rage (2001); God and the Gangs (2004); Jesus Dub: Theology, Music and Social Change (2006); Documentary as Exorcism: Resisting the Bewitchment of Colonial Christianity (2014).

5. Anthony G. Reddie (PhD, Education (With Theology): University of Birmingham) is Director for the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture within Oxford University and a fellow of Regent’s Park College, Oxford. He is also Professor Extraordinarius in the Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systemic Theology at the University of South Africa.

Recommended Writings:
“The Christian education of African Caribbean children in Birmingham : creating a new paradigm through developing better praxis”(Doctoral dissertation, 2000); Postcolonial Black British Theology (1998); Nobodies to somebodies : a practical theology for education and liberation (2003); Black theology in transatlantic dialogue (2009);Working Against the Grain: Re-Imaging Black Theology in the 21st Century (2014);Is God Colour-Blind); Black theology, slavery and contemporary Christianity : 200 years and no apology (2016); Theologising Brexit : a liberationist and postcolonial critique (2019); Is God colour-blind? : insights from black theology for Christian faith and ministry (2020): “Doing It Our Way: Caribbean Theology, Contextualisation and Cricket” (2018).

6. Edmund Davis (PhD, Theology: Faculteit der Godgeleerheid, Universiteit Utrecht)

Recommended Writings:
Roots and blossoms (1977); Courage and commitment (1988); Theological education in a multi-ethnic society : the united theological college of the West Indies and its four antecedent institutions (1841-1966) (1998); Beyond boundaries : identity, faith and hope amidst fear and insecurity (2002).

7. Lewin Lascelles Williams (PhD, Theology: Union Theological Seminary)

Recommended Writings: “The Indigenization of Theology in the Caribbean” (Doctoral dissertation, 1989); Caribbean Theology (1994); The Caribbean: Enculturation, Acculturation, and the Role of the Churches (1996).

8. David I. Mitchell (Doctor of Education, Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University)

Recommended Writings:
Religious education and the Protestant Church of the Caribbean (1956); With Eyes Wide Open: A Collection of Papers by Caribbean Scholars on Caribbean Christian Concerns (1973); New Mission for a new people: Voices from the Caribbean(1977).

9. Michael St. A. Miller (PhD, Religion and Theology: Claremont Graduate School/Claremont Graduate University) is Associate Professor of Systematic and Philosophical Theology and Director of Cross-Cultural and International Programs at Christian Theological Seminary

Recommended Writings:
“Religion and the Caribbean: With Epistemological Considerations and Their Implications for Doing Theology in the Caribbean” (Doctoral dissertation, 1996); Reshaping the Contextual Vision in Caribbean Theology: Theoretical Foundations for Theology Which is Contextual, Pluralistic, and Dialectical (2007); “Mission in Pluralistic Contexts: A Caribbean Perspective,” in Introduction to Disciples Theology, ed. Peter Heltzel (2008); “Caribbean History and the Quest for Freedom: Freedom, Further Undermined but Unconquered,” Encounter 71, No. 3 (Summer 2010); “Caribbean History and the Quest for Freedom: Freedom Lives in Plunder, Resistance, and Compromise,” Encounter 71, No. 2 (Spring 2010); “Impulses in Caribbean Theology,” in Papers from Network on Theological Inquiry, ed. Preman Niles, (CWM: October 1998).

10. Dianne M. Stewart (PhD, Systematic Theology: Union Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Emory University.

Recommended Writings:
“The evolution of African-derived religions in Jamaica : toward a Caribbean theology of collective memory” (Doctoral dissertation, 1997); Three Eyes from the Journey: African Dimensions of the Jamaican Religious Experience (2005); “Womanist Theology in the Caribbean Context: Critiquing Culture, Rethinking Doctrine, and Expanding Boundaries” (2004); “Religious Pluralism and African American Theology,” The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology, edited by Katie Cannon and Anthony Pinn, 331-350 (2014); “Women in African Caribbean Religious Traditions,” in Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America, edited by Rosemary Skinner Kellar and Rosemary Radford Ruether, 116-126 (2006); Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage (2020).

11. Anna Kasafi Perkins (PhD, Theological Ethics: Boston College) is Senior Programme Officer, Quality Assurance Unit, Office of the Board for Undergraduate Studies (OBUS).

Recommended Writings:
The Wages of Sin is Babylon (2014); Justice as Equality: Michael Manley’s Caribbean Vision of Justice (2010); Justice and Peace in a Renewed Caribbean: Contemporary Catholic Reflections (2012); “The Centre No Longer Holds: Caribbean Theologyv(Dis)Engages the Cultural Space.” In Judith Soares and Oral W. Thomas (eds.), Contending Voices in Caribbean Theology, pp. 73-92 (2019); “Resisting Definitive Interpretation: Seeing the Exodus through Caribbean(ite) Eyes, Text and Context: Vernacular Approaches to the Bible in Global Christianity, ed. Melanie Baffes, pp. 23-39 (2005); Is Moral Dis-Ease Making Jamaica Ill? Revisiting the Conversation (2013); “Theologising Women, Speaking across Traditions: A Response”. Theologising Women: Speaking Across Traditions. Judith Soares and Vivette Jennings. (Eds.). WAND, UWI Open Campus (2009); America Will Call Evil by its Name”: Evil as atheologically and morally loaded notion in American Foreign Policy Discourse, in Ethical Issues in International Communications. Ed. Alexander G. Nikolaev, pp. 71-84 (2011); “Some Theological Reflections on Exodus Politics and Leadership in the Pre-Independence English-Speaking Caribbean” (2001).

12. George MacDonald Mulrain (PhD, Theology; University of Birmingham) is President of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA).

Recommended Writings:
“Theological Significance of Haitian Folk Religion” (Doctoral dissertation, 1982); “Training for missionary work overseas : a study of personal development for coping” (M. Phil, 1997); Caribbean Theological Insights: Exploring Theological Themes Within The Context Of The Caribbean Region (2014); Theology in Folk Culture: The Theological Significance of Haitian Folk Religion (1984); “Tools for mission in the Caribbean culture,” International review of mission, v. 75, no 297, pp. 51-58 (1986).

13. Marjorie Lewis (PhD, Theology: University of Birmingham) is University Chaplain at Acadia University.

Recommended Writings:
“Towards A Systematic Spirituality for Black British Women’” (Doctoral dissertation, 2007); “Diaspora Dialogue: Womanist Theology in Engagement with Some Aspects of the Black British and Jamaican Experience,” in Anthony Reddie (Ed.) Black Theology an International Journal Volume 2 Number 1 January (2004) pp. 85–109; “You have to stand on crooked
and cut straight”- reflections on Tamar” (2011); “A Reimagined Framework for Theological Education: Mainstreaming Gender in Theological Education” (2019).

14. Michael N. Jagessar (PhD, Theology: Universiteit Utrecht) is Minister of the United Reformed Church with responsibility for intercultural theology and practice of ministry, and former moderator of the General Assembly.

Recommended Writings:
“Full Life For all: The Work and Theology of Philip A. Potter : A Historical Survey and Systematic Analysis of Major Themes” (Doctoral dissertation, 1997); “A Theological Evaluation of Community in Wilson Harris’ The Guyana Quartet” (MA Thesis, 1992); “Caribbean Literature: A Theological Perspective : An exploration of religious themes in Caribbean Literature from a theological perspective” (2010); Postcolonial Black British theology : new textures and themes (2007); Christian worship : postcolonial perspectives (2011); Black Theology in Britain: A Reader (2016), Ethnicity: The Inclusive Church Resource (2015.

15. Oral Thomas (PhD, Theology: University of Birmingham) is President and Professor in the Arts in Ministerial Studies at the United Theological College of the West Indies.

Recommended Writings:
“Contextual Contestation in Biblical Hermeneutics within a Caribbean Context: A Case for a Biblical Resistant Hermeneutic” ( 2007); “Genesis 1-2:4a and Exodus 1-15: A Basis for a Theology of Liberation” (MTS Thesis, 1996); “A Resistant Biblical Hermeneutic within the Caribbean”, Black Theology, An International Journal, Volume 6 No. 3 (2008); Biblical Resistance Hermeneutics within a Caribbean Context (2014); “Biblical Interpretation within a Caribbean Context”, In Black Theology, Slavery and Contemporary Christianity (2016); “Ashley Smith, Carnival, and Hermeneutics: Reflections on Caribbean Biblical Interpretation” (2013).

16. Delroy A. Reid-Salmon (PhD, Theology: University of Birmingham) is Pastor of the Grace Baptist Chapel in New York and a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture, Regents Park College.

Recommended Writings:
Home away from home : the Caribbean Diasporan Church in the Black Atlantic tradition(2008) ; Burning for Freedom: A Theology of the Black Atlantic Struggle for Liberation; Burning for freedom : a theology of the black Atlantic struggle for liberation (2012); “A Sin of Black Theology: The Omission of the Caribbean Diasporan Experience from Black Theological Discourse” (2008); “Omar M. McRoberts, Streets of Glory: Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighborhood” (2007); “African American Theology and Her Siblings in the Caribbean Diaspora: Toward a Theology of a Plurality of Praxis in the Black Atlantic World” (2019).

17. Margaret Aymer (PhD, New Testament and Early Christianity: Union Theological Seminary) is Professor of New Testament at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Recommended Writings:
First pure, then peaceable : Frederick Douglass, darkness, and the Epistle of James (2008); James: Diaspora Rhetorics of a Friend of God (2014), Fortress Commentary on the Bible (with Gale A. Yee, Fortress Press, 2014); Islanders, Islands and the Bible: Ruminations (2015); The letters and legacy of Paul (2016); Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The New Testament (2014).

18. Valentina Alexander (PhD, Theology: University of Warwick) is Professor of Black Theology at The Queen’s Ecumenical Foundation and Birmingham City University.

Recommended Writings:
“Breaking Every Fetter”: To What Extent Has the Black Led Church in Britain Developed a Theology of Liberation? (Doctoral Dissertation, 1997); “Afrocentric and Black Christian Consciousness: Towards an Honest Intersection.” Black Theology in Britain: A Journal of Contextual Practice, 11-1 (1998); “Onesimus’s Letter to Philemon,” Black Theology: A Journal of Contextual Praxis 4, 61-65 (2000); “Passive and Active Radicalism in Black Led Churches. “In Black Theology in Britain: A Reader. Edited by Michael N. Jagessar and Anthony G. Reddie. (2007).

19. Lorraine Dixon is a retired Anglican Priest and womanist theologian.

Recommended Writings:
“A Black Woman and Deacon: A Womanist Reflection on Pastoral Ministry.” Aldred (ed.) Sisters with Power, pp. 50–64 (2000); “Teach it, Sister!’ Mahalia Jackson as Theologian in Song.” Black Theology in Britain 2 (1999): 72-89; “Reflections on Pastoral Care from a Womanist Perspective.” The Interdisciplinary Journal of Pastoral Studies 132 (2000): 3-10; “A Reflection on Black Identity and Belonging in the Context of the Anglican Church in England: A Way Forward.” Black in Theology in Britain: Black Theology in Britain: A Journal of Contextual Practice 4 (2000): 22-37. “Tenth Anniversary Reflections on Robert Beckford’s Jesus is Dread: Black Theology and Black Culture in Britain.” Black Theology: An International Journal 6, no. 3 (2008): 300-307; “Are Vashti and Esther our Sista? The Stories of Two Biblical Women as Paradigmatic of Black Women’s Resistance in Slavery” (2000).

20. Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (CFPA) and former Executive Director of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association.

Recommended Writings:
Created in God’s image : from hegemony to partnership : a church manual on men as partners : promoting positive masculinities (2010); Righting Her-Story: Caribbean Women Encounter the Bible Story (2011); Bible and theology from the underside of empire (2016); “The spirit that groans within us : the challenge of being semper reformanda churches” (2007); “Confessing Faith Together in the Economy: The Accra Confession and Covenanting for Justice Movement” (2008).


One thought on ““20 Caribbean Theologians and Biblical Scholars You Should Know”

  1. Dear Dr. Joseph
    I was really happy to have bumped into this your list of Caribbean Theologians. Thanks so much.
    I however think a few who have made their contribution did not seem to have made it in your list.
    I am wondering if you had some criteria for your choice.
    one thing I note is that your list have writers


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