The notion of a Christian nation is an especially fraught notion when thinking about America’s rendering of Black people. Is the Christian character of the nation a cause to which its people are committed (i.e. bound for) or is it a restricting circumstance with which its people must contend (i.e. bound by)? Both interpretations hold true when registering the ways African Americans are identified with the Bible and reflect the ambivalent power dynamics of scriptural texts. This article was part of a forum on the social movement known as Black Lives Matter.


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Richard Newton, “The African American Bible: Bound in a Christian Nation,” Journal of Biblical Literature 136, no. 1 (Winter 2017): 221-228, DOI: 10.15699/jbl.1361.2017.1366.