Ralph Ellison's Invisible Theology

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M. Cooper Harriss
North American Religions
  • New York, NY: 
    NYU Press
    , May
     2017.
     288 pages.
     $30.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781479823017.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Tyler Davis forthcoming.

Description

Examines the religious dimensions of Ralph Ellison’s concept of race. 

Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man provides an unforgettable metaphor for what it means to be disregarded in society.  While the term “invisibility” has become shorthand for all forms of marginalization, Ellison was primarily concerned with racial identity.  M. Cooper Harriss argues that religion, too, remains relatively invisible within discussions of race and seeks to correct this through a close study of Ralph Ellison’s work.

Harriss examines the religious and theological dimensions of Ralph Ellison’s concept of race through his evocative metaphor for the experience of blackness in America, and with an eye to uncovering previously unrecognized religious dynamics in Ellison’s life and work.  Blending religious studies and theology, race theory, and fresh readings of African-American culture, Harriss draws on Ellison to create the concept of an “invisible theology,” and uses this concept as a basis for discussing religion and racial identity in contemporary American life.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

M. Cooper Harriss is assistant professor in the department of religious studies at Indiana University.

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