Todne ThomasJun 16, 2021
The Making of Black Evangelical Sociality
Duke University Press 2021
Kincraft: The Making of Black Evangelical Sociality (Duke University Press, 2021) by Todne Thomas takes a deep dive into the social and religious lives of two black evangelical churches in the Atlanta metro area. Thomas ethnographically renders the ways in which black evangelicals engage in a process of producing kin or crafting relatedness through bible study, socializing, talking, and forming prayer partnerships. She argues that they produce kincraft or construct themselves as brothers and sisters in Christ. In so doing, they "closed the gap between the presumably 'real' family relationships of biology and those of spiritual kin" (3). Examining the lives and activities of black evangelicals illuminates these communities which are often obscured by evangelicals who are racialized as white and the protestant orientation associated with the black church. Outlining the processes through which black evangelicals make kin, calls into question ideas of fictive kinship, a concept commonly used to characterize kinship ties that are not biological or through marriage. Kincraft locates black evangelicals and their practices of kinship formation at the center of their own story.
Todne Thomas is an Assistant Professor of African American Religions in the Harvard Divinity School.
Reighan Gillam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California.