SUNKEN PLACE THEOLOGY
Pastor and theologian Delonte Gholston has written an insightful theological and social commentary in Relevant titled: GET OUT CONTAINS A THEOLOGICAL LESSON THAT IS EASY TO MISS. After noting that the first Black writer to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay and that he created a whole new genre of film being called the “social suspense thriller”, Gholston applies the insights to the church.
In part he says:A SUNKEN-PLACE THEOLOGY
What does a Jordan Peele suspense thriller have to do with the Church or Christian theology? Well, the reality is that black folk in America are eerily familiar with what I call “sunken-place theology.” As Dr. Curtis Steven Wilder makes painfully clear in his book Ebony And Ivy, the American Church, along with elite colleges and universities, was chief among those who trafficked not only in the kidnapping and commodification of black bodies but also in the development of a theology of black bondage.
We saw new reports recently that our founding father George Washington, who had his very own pew at Christ Church in historic Alexandria, Virginia, (once the largest center of human trafficking in America) quite literally had the teeth of black enslaved people in his mouth. While there is no lack of documentation of how so-called Christians in America quite literally kidnapped and sold black bodies, the Church must still reckon with its theology of black exploitation and the ways in which it continues to manifest itself today.