A moving essay collection promoting freedom, self-love, and divine wholeness for Black women and opening new levels of understanding and ideological transformation for non-Black women and allies
“Candice Marie Benbow is a once-in-a-generation theologian, the kind who, having ground dogma into dust with the fine point of a stiletto, leads us into the wide-open spaces of faith.”—Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage and co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection
Blurring the boundaries of righteous and irreverent, Red Lip Theology invites us to discover freedom in a progressive Christian faith that incorporates activism, feminism, and radical authenticity. Essayist and theologian Candice Marie Benbow’s essays explore universal themes like heartache, loss, forgiveness, and sexuality, and she unflinchingly empowers women who struggle with feeling loved and nurtured by church culture.
Benbow writes powerfully about experiences at the heart of her Black womanhood. In honoring her single mother’s love and triumphs—and mourning her unexpected passing—she finds herself forced to shed restrictions she’d been taught to place on her faith practice. And by embracing alternative spirituality and womanist theology, and confronting staid attitudes on body positivity and LGBTQ+ rights, Benbow challenges religious institutions, faith leaders, and communities to reimagine how faith can be a tool of liberation and transformation for women and girls.
I found this book to be thought-provoking and the author to be authentic however for me the book borders on being somewhat divisive and contradictory.
There are some great quotes throughout the book that show the empathy and thoughtfulness of the author. She makes a point of showing her own evolution and exposing dangerous mindsets.
I realize this is written from the author’s own experiences and perspective, but I believe it’s dangerous to preach a theology that alienates white people by painting them with a stereotypical racial/entitled paintbrush; alienates black men as self-centered and dismissive of black women, alienates black women who adhere to their traditional roles.
I do agree that religion itself, or church devoid of the character of God is hurtful and doesn’t offer God’s best.
I find this statement to be absolutely true; “I believe what God wants from us is to create a world where all are free to thrive. Anything less doesn’t represent God’s heart and what God wants for us.”
However, I think it’s contradictory of this statement; “I want a world where the ones coming behind us don’t have to fear living into their truth.”
God absolutely wants us to thrive but when it’s based on our own truth, it’s subjective. There is only one absolute truth and within its confines we are not restricted but are freed to live the lives God intended.
I was given a copy of this book courtesy Convergent Books a division of Penguin Random House through NetGalley. This is my honest opinion of the book.