Why Black Religion Matters: Aliou Niang

Why Black Religion Matters

August 17, 2021, 7:30pm Eastern Time

A deep dive into the transformative and revolutionary aspects of Black religion.

Aliou Niang

In this session, Aliou Niang will speak on the concept of “Lived Experience” in Christianity and African Traditional Religion (ATR) as practiced by the Diola people of Senegal, and the role it plays in bolstering the resistance to French colonialism in West Africa. Dr. Niang is Associate Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary and author of Faith and Freedom in Galatia and Senegal: The Apostle Paul, Colonists and Sending Gods.

Though it has an individual dimension, Lived Experience (an expression of African Traditional Religion – ATR) to most Diola people of Senegal, West Africa, is a spiritual corporate journey. It is a daily divine-human-nature relationship – a practical theological spirituality some biblical voices proclaimed (Gen 2:15, Lev 25:23, and John 19:41; 20:15). This presentation will explore and unpack the meaning of Lived Experience in God’s creation as practiced by the Diola prophet Aline Sitoé Diatta and offers some ideas for reflection people of faith might find actionable amidst an impending global ecological disaster.

Dr. Aliou Cissé Niang is Associate Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary. He is the author of Faith and Freedom in Galatia and Senegal: The Apostle Paul, Colonists and Sending Gods (2009) in which he compares the colonial objectification of his people by French colonists to the Graeco-Roman Colonial objectifications of the ancient Celts/Gauls/Galatians and explores Paul’s role in bringing about a different portrayal, and A Poetics of Postcolonial Biblical Criticism: God, Human-Nature Relationship, and Negritude (2019) in which he explores the work of Léopold Sédar Senghor, the architect of Négritude, as a postcolonial lens for reading Scripture and other faith traditions with a view to reposition, conscientize, liberate, and rehabilitate the conquered. His teaching and research explore themes and issues in Biblical and Postcolonial Theologies, and his teaching pedagogy reflects his exercise of the wisdom of his West African Diola elders. Professor Niang is a member of the Commission on Baptist-Muslim Relations of the Baptist World Alliance and a member of the Editorial Board of the International Voices in Biblical Studies (IVBS)–Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Peer-reviewed series. He is passionate about translating academic work to the Church. Read his full bio here: https://utsnyc.edu/faculty/aliou-c-niang/