Black and Blue: Uncovering the Ecclesial Cover-up of Black Women’s Bodies through a Womanist Reimagining of the Doctrine of the Incarnation

  • Eboni Marshall Turman


The body is a theological problem, and bodies that defy normativity have historically thrust religious communities into chaos. This essay engages the Doctrine of the Incarnation as the starting point for exploring the black woman’s body as a theological problem; one that has compromised gender relationality in the Black Church. An apophatic re-reading of Chalcedon reimagines the Doctrine of the Incarnation as a mediating ethic that resists the compulsion to body injustice. A womanist logic of incarnation emerges from this apophatic project and identifies the bodies of black women as homoousious with Jesus Christ as to his humanity. In so doing, the essay challenges sexism in the Black Church as Christological contempt insofar as it relegates black women to the margins of the Afro-ecclesia. In concert with the trends of “new” black theology, this essay deviates from contextual focus on Jesus’ historicity and attends to the import and substance of Jesus’ body as doctrinally articulated at Chalcedon and as proclaimed in Black Churches throughout the world.


Black Woman Black Church African American Church Christian Doctrine African American Experience 
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© Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Jenny Daggers 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eboni Marshall Turman

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