Journal Article

Pentecostalism and all that Jazz: Tracing James Baldwin's Religion

Douglas Field

in Literature and Theology

Volume 22, issue 4, pages 436-457
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frn022
Pentecostalism and all that Jazz: Tracing James Baldwin's Religion

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This essay considers the theme of religion in the work of James Baldwin. Although it is well-documented that Baldwin was a child preacher, and although much of his work draws on this experience, there is little sustained criticism on the impact of religion on his life and work and few scholars have explored the impact of the writer's Pentecostal background. This article maintains that Baldwin's Pentecostal background is central to an understanding of his complicated views on Christianity, illuminating the connections in his work between music and the church. The article concludes by exploring Baldwin's concept of love, arguing that this troublesome concept is central to the author's exploration of religion and community.

Journal Article.  10123 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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