This essay engages the theme of religion and the futures of blackness by critically examining the interrelationship between two normative standards in the discourse of religion and blackness: love and community. The essay proceeds by thinking love and community as risks and not as guarantees. This elliptical procedure in analyzing this discourse recognizes the in/ability to think these except by way of thinking blackness as the other of thought, that is, as an/other thinking that is not reducible to the calculus of thought proper. Specifically, I delineate how and in what ways blackness serves as the condition of possibility for frustrating and constituting a thinking of love in and through the imagination. I then press such a thinking in exploring the formulation of an ideal of community that interrupts hegemonic circuits of knowledge/power. Indeed, it is by recourse to love and community in and through the imagination where we are able to recover a thinking that challenges the dominant configurations of power and open up new lines of investigation into the open futures for the discourse of religion and blackness.
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Corey D. B. Walker; Love, Blackness, Imagination: Howard Thurman’s Vision of Communitas. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2013; 112 (4): 641–655. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2345216
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