Race and Publishing!

“Race and Publishing”

True Story: Two months ago, I submitted a book proposal and a few sample chapters to a publisher, which I will leave unnamed; I also attached my c.v., as required.

The (Senior) acquisitions editor emailed me to acknowledge the receipt of the proposal. A week after, he followed up with me with a phone call. In the conversation, he began to articulate felicitous words towards me about my prolific writing and academic credentials.

To paraphrase him, he said to me, “As I was browsing through your numerous publications, I have noticed that you are not an “angry black man” like other “African American male writers.”

I was utterly shocked and couldn’t find the appropriate words to frame my feeling at the moment. (Those of you who know me know that I am not a confrontational person; I express myself better in writing…)

Two weeks after that “racially-insensitive conversation” occurred, I received the book contract in the mail from the publisher. I decided not to publish my work with this particular publisher and collaborate with this particular acquisitions editor.
I will not let anyone degrade me or undermine my human dignity for the sake of publishing and academic influence or reputation.

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Haitian Intellectual History: Top 20 Books in Past 30 Years!

Haitian Intellectual History: Top 20 Books in Past 30 Years!

Below, I recommend what I believe to be the Top 20 Books that have been written in the English language, in the past thirty years, on Haitian Intellectual History. I list these texts by their year of publication and not necessarily by their impact on the field of Haitian Studies.

1. In the Shadow of Powers: Dantes Bellegarde in Haitian Social Thought (1985) by Patrick Bellegarde-Smith

2. From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti (1996) by David Nicholls

3. Haiti and the United States: National Stereotypes and the Literary Imagination (1996) by J. Michael Dash

4. Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women (1997) by Myriam J. A. Chancy

5. Haiti, History, and the Gods (1998) by Joan Dayan

6. Haiti’s Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy (2002) by Robert Fatton

7. Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (2004) by Sibylle Fischer

8. The Prophet and Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the International Community, and Haiti (2006) by Alex Dupuy

9. Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment (2008) by Nick Nesbitt

10. Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 (2009)
by Matthew J. Smith

11. Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History (2009) by Susan Buck-Morss

12. Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon (2011) by Kaiama L. Glover

13. The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti (2014) by Kate Ramsey

14. Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual History (2014)
by Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken

15. Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865 (2015) by Marlene L. Daut

16. Vodou in Haitian Memory: The Idea and Representation of Vodou in Haitian Imagination (2016) edited by Celucien L. Joseph and Nixon S. Cleophat

17. The Vodou Ethic and the Spirit of Communism: The Practical Consciousness of the African People of Haiti (2016) by Paul Mocombe

18. Thinking in Public: Faith, Secular Humanism, and Development in Jacques Roumain (2017) by Celucien L. Joseph

19. Baron de Vastey and the Origins of Black Atlantic Humanism (2017) by Marlene L. Daut

20. Between Two Worlds: Jean Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa (2018) edited by Celucien L. Joseph, Jean Eddy Saint Paul, and Glodel Mezilas

A little clarification on Biblical Hermeneutics, Cultural Interpretation, and Same Sex Marriage

“A little clarification on Biblical Hermeneutics, Cultural Interpretation, and Same Sex Marriage”

In the past four weeks or so at “The Grove” at Jesus Center Community Center, in which we meet every Tuesday night at 7:00 pm, we’ve been exploring the Bible’s perspective on some of the most controversial topics such as transgender, gay marriage, same sex relations, etc. (Equally, we will be exploring what the Bible has to say on beauty, world hunger, hospitality, compassion, sympathy, mmigration, healthcare, teen pregnancy, abortion, adoption, environmental issues, politics, colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism, etc.) in contemporary American culture.

In this brief post, I would like to clarify a few issues on the relationship between “Biblical Hermeneutics, Cultural Interpretation, and Same Sex Marriage.” Below, I provide an example of cultural and biblical (textual) hermeneutics:

1. Cultural hermeneutics: The assumption that the Bible talks about same sex marriages.

2. Biblical (Textual) hermeneutics: The Bible discusses sexual relations between people of the same sex and gender.

To “discuss” an issue does not necessarily entail that the Bible allows it or permits it. The logical question we should be asking is this: how does the Bible discuss sexual relations between two individuals of the same gender? What is the nature of the Bible’s viewpoint on the subject matter?

In other words, the idea of “same sex marriage” is not a bibilical notion (Note carefully: I did not say that the Bible condemns or approves same sex marriage. I’m clarifying that the language “same sex marriage” is not a direct reference in the Bible); when we argue that the Bible talks about same sex marriages, we are actually about taking a cultural phenomenon and practice and impose it on the biblical text.

By contrast, the idea of “sexual intercourse” and “sexual relations” is a biblical teaching. Once again, the most reasonable query should be: what does the Bible say exactly about “same sex intercourse or relations” ?

***In this short post, I am not talking about what is biblically forbidden and what is biblically allowed.

“Rethinking about God theologically and biblically from the Haitian Context and Experience”

“Rethinking about God theologically and biblically from the Haitian Context and Experience”

If the good and gracious Lord grant me enough mercy and wisdom to see another day, in the next two years or so, I’m going to devote a substantial amount of time in research and writing to develop a new area (or strengthen) in Haitian Studies: Haitian Contextual Theology and Biblical Hermeneutics. I will be writing seven major articles on the subject matter.

1. The first article will explore the birth of Haitian Contextual Theology.

2. The second essay will study the sources of Haitian Contextual Theology.

3.The third article will investigate the doctrine of God in Haitian Folkloric Tradition.

4. The fourth essay will examine the concept of God in Haitian literary and intellectual tradition.

5. The fifth article will study Haitian contextual theological ethics and anthropology from the perspective of the Haitian Folkloric Tradition.

6. The sixth essay will construct creative ways and new models to do biblical exegesis from the Haitian cultural context, that is Haitian contextual biblical hermeneutics and interpretation.

7. The seventh and last essay will investigate the (use of ) Bible in the Haitian culture and experience.

Hopefully, these series of study will bring fresh ideas and new ways of thinking about the religious experience of the Haitian people and extend the contours of Haitian Studies. I also hope that my research will help to correct the seemingly shortcomings in contemporary scholarship on Haitian religion (s) that promotes a monolithic and homogeneous religious experience of the Haitian people.

New Article on African Theological Anthropology and Ubuntu Ethics!

Happy Monday, Friends!!!

The editor of the “Journal of Religion and Theology” emailed me this morning to inform me that my new article, “Toward a Black African Theological Anthropology and Ubuntu Ethics,” will be published next month. This is exciting news, folks!!!

This is actually my fourth published article for the year so far. If the good and sovereign Lord continues to show mercy and grace towards me, for the remaining academic year, I would like to publish three more articles on the intersection of theology, ethics, and culture.

Abstract

“This essay studies the moral values and practical relevance of the South African concept of Ubuntu in the process of rethinking Black African theological ethics and Black African theological anthropology. Toward this goal, we examine the works of three prominent African theologians: Laurenti Magesa, a diocesan priest from Tanzania, John S. Mbiti, an Anglican priest from Kenya, and Bénézet Bujo, a Catholic priest from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The aim of this comparative analysis is to highlight the importance and implications of Black theological anthropology and ethics to the social and moral life of the individual and the community. This study also aims at articulating a model that is theologically sound, human- sensitive and enriching, and emancipatory. We shall investigate in their ethico-theological writings the intersection of theism, personhood, community, and Ubuntu as an African humanism. The selected African thinkers give the impression that the African perspective on humanity, the social life, and the moral life is more promising, liberating, and dignifying than the Western vision on these issues.

The theological anthropology and ethics of Magesa, Mbiti, and Bujo strongly promote interconnected human relations and interactional social dynamics that are based on the Ubuntu moral ethics. This essay suggests that Black African theological anthropology and theological ethics have a strong foundation on the Ubuntu moral virtues and ethical principles that promotes human flourishing and a life in solidarity within the framework of the community and a symbiotic relationship between God, the community, and the individual.

Keywords: African theological anthropology, African theological ethics, Ubuntu ethics, Black theology, African traditional religion.”

How to Pray in this hour of War!

How to Pray in this hour of War!

At this hour of war and retaliation, I hope and pray my (Evangelical) Christian brothers and sisters will not abandon the pacifist teachings of Christ for the sake of patriotic zeal and triumphal nationalism. Followers of Jesus are called agents of peace and reconciliation (Matthew 5:9; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

Also, when you do corporate prayer tomorrow morning (Sunday worship) at your church, do not be partial in your fervent prayer to “just” pray to God to protect “our (American) troops.” You must now understand that the biblical God does not have a military army in this world; his army is certainly not the American military forces nor the ones in Syria or in any Western country. Your prayer is not or should not be for the American Troops to win the war; this attitude toward life will be an abomination to the God of peace and love.

The kingdom of God is the church, that is the people of God who are commanded daily to be protagonists of peace and agents of reconciliation in this world, not promoters and defenders of war, military crime, or human suffering. Jesus, the Head of that Kingdom (the church), is the Prince of Peace.

Therefore, you should equally pray for God to protect the people of Syria and the Syrian troops, and eventually, for peace and unity among the nations. The Biblical God is the sovereign and cosmic Lord of the nations; He is not an American deity!

(Medical) Mission Trip to Haiti: July 17-26, 2018

Haiti Mission Trip in July 2018: Port-Margot and Cap-Haitien
Date: July 17-26, 2018

This trip is open to anyone who has a big heart to serve and empower people, and make a difference in the lives of the Haitian people in Haiti.

If you’re interested to go to Haiti with my team (Hope for Today Outreach in partnership with New Beginning International Ministries) for a (medical) mission trip, let’s make it happen.

Activities to do in Haiti:

1. 4 day medical clinic
2. Leadership Conference for Women
3. Leadership Conference for Men
4. Activities for young people and children
5. Prayer Walk
6. Distribution of Food and Clothing
7. Distribution of School Supplies

For more information, contact me at customers@hopefortodayoutreach.org or celucienjoseph@gmail.com

**** We are collecting school supplies for children and families in need in Haiti, please send us an email if you would like to make a donation. Or if there’s anything else you would like to donate toward this (medical) trip, do not hesitate to contact us.