Cornel West, def, hermeneutic of suspicion, maher

Cornel West, Mos Def and the Hermeneutic of Suspicion

I am a great believer in cognitive dissonance. I also believe that when it comes to dialogical studies like theology, one cannot simply read someone – we must get to know the people that we are supposedly in conversation with. With that said, I came across this video that, with a little preface to situate it theologically, could work well for an introduction to liberation theology’s hermeneutic of suspicion. This video of Cornel West and Mos Def is the very voice and action of suspicion because this community has been beaten down for centuries. Now while you watch this, imagine this language in theology. This is why theology changed so much thirty years ago and will continue to change.

As a side note, interestingly Mos Def and Cornel West disagree with Maher’s Enlightenment assumption that religion is the root of conflict. In fact, I think there is a great many parallel’s between Def, West and Cavanaugh/McCarraher: the state and the market colonizes. So if the black community is colonized, perhaps the church is as well? Yeah. I think so. You can see it in our ecclesiology – in our churches and how we understand ourselves as Christians.


4 thoughts on “Cornel West, Mos Def and the Hermeneutic of Suspicion

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on Wright: Towards a Negative Theology of Wright « flying.farther

  2. Pingback: Wright, Cone, Dorrien and the New York Times « flying.farther

  3. Love West. Just saw him @ the local University here…

    “liberation theology’s hermeneutic of suspicion.” would u say as a result of this (new) lense of h. of susp. that theology has changed much in the past 50 yrs?

    Do u take the h. of susp. as a legitimate lens? Jus curious. I for one, do. It gives us a clearer picture of the depths of “depravity” and re-defines the prophetic role as deconstructionist…

  4. After seeing hermeneutic of suspicion in action, I have a hard time not “using” it. I think its thoroughly legitimate. While sometimes I find others may be totally blinded by suspicion, I find far too little people are aware of it. The idea that the text may be dangerous to other people, or even to ourselves (in a positive or negative way), is something that ought to be recognized. Suspicion seems like the right way to ethically read and interpret the text. Not suspicion along, mind you, but suspicion is necessary me thinks.

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