Introduction to the Practice of African American Preaching

By Frank A. Thomas Published
Paperback image ISBN: 9781501818943 $34.99 Buy
eBook image ISBN: 9781501818950 $34.99 Buy
An introduction to and primer on African American preaching.

The Introduction to African American Preaching is an important, groundbreaking book. This book acknowledges African American preaching as an academic discipline, and invites all students and preachers into a scholarly, dynamic, and useful exploration of the topic.

Author Frank Thomas opens with a “bus tour” study of African American preaching. He shows how African American preaching has gradually moved from an almost exclusively oral to an oral/written tradition. Readers will gain insight into the history of the study of the African American preaching tradition, and catch the author’s enthusiasm for it.

Next Thomas traces the relationship between homiletics and rhetoric in Western preaching, demonstrating how African American preaching is inherently theological and rhetorical.

He then explores the question, “what is black preaching?” Thomas introduces the reader to methods of “close reading” and “ideological criticism.” And then demonstrates how to use these methods, using a sermon by Gardner Calvin Taylor as his example.

The next chapter considers the question, “what is excellence in black preaching?”

The next chapter seeks to create bridges and dialogue within the field of homiletics, and in particular, the Euro-American homiletic tradition. The goal of this chapter is to clearly demonstrate connections between
the African American preaching tradition and the field of homiletics.

Thomas next turns to questions about the relevancy of the church to the Millennial generation. Specifically, how will the African American church remain relevant to this generation, which is so deeply concerned with social justice?


“Every class in preaching, every clergy colleague group, every minister who believes in preaching or wants to believe in preaching should have a copy of this book.”

Ronald J. Allen, Professor of Preaching and Gospels and Letters, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN




“Irrespective of racial and ethnic background, this is a must-read resource for any serious student of American preaching.”

Kenyatta R. Gilbert, Associate Professor of Homiletics, Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, DC




“A luminously experiential, incomparably resourced, multilayered exploration of African American preaching, this book should be required reading for all seminarians, preaching practitioners, cultural anthropologists, church historians, and practical theologians.”

Teresa L. Fry Brown, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA


About the Author

Frank A. Thomas

Frank A. Thomas currently serves as Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration at Christian Theological Seminary of Indianapolis, Indiana.