Christmas Special: Esau McCaulley on Reading While Black (OnScript)

This episode is reproduced from a November interview on the OnScript podcast, courtesy of OnScript.

Dr. Dru Johnson interviews Dr. Esau McCaulley about his award-winning book Reading While Black: African-American Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope. They discuss listening to minority, oppressed, and specifically Black voices as necessary to reading Scripture well. Without critically engaging these various voices, we run the risk of reinforcing cultural biases and blind spots.

Dr. McCaulley also describes the unique gap he is trying to fill in biblical scholarship, as he navigates between both Black and white evangelical and progressive voices. Dr. McCaulley hopes to provide a biblical scholarship that is both faithful to orthodox Christianity and to the veracity of Scripture, while not neglecting justice. Stay tuned at the end for a speed round!

  • 0:00 Introduction to OnScript and Esau McCaulley
  • 2:13 Defining the term “Black”
  • 6:57 Dr. McCaulley’s time at the University of St. Andrews
  • 12:42 Introducing Reading While Black
  • 17:48 The problems with the phrase “runaway slave”
  • 19:00 Holding to orthodoxy while calling for justice
  • 24:23 Why we can’t read Scripture alone
  • 29:40 How to listen to Black voices
  • 35:14 Dealing with slavery in the Bible
  • 42:14 Speed Round!
  • 56:40 The greatest book in biblical studies in the last fifty years
  • 1:02:16 Failing to discuss oppression in biblical studies

Learn more about Dr. McCaulley and his work.

Also mentioned: Dr. McCaulley’s Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance (NERDY)

Show notes by Micah Long.

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