Velma Love, PhD Candidate, Religion

"Reading Darkness, Reading Scriptures: African Americans and the Bible"

Love presented the documentary on African Americans and the Bible that she created with John Jackson, an anthropological documentarian at Duke University. The film presents first-person accounts of encounters with the Bible that point toward a shared process of resignification. Some participants saw the Bible as a record to be quoted and parsed, but all related a desire to ‘make the Bible come alive.’ By representing African American experiences, the documentary is a witness to the engagement of scripture as a strategy for living, for being whole. The discussion that followed centered on the creation of scripture through expressions like dance, art, and community formation and whether or not authority devolves to those performances and products.

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