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By William David Hart (auth.)

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The assimilation model also views the Black Church as anti-intellectual and authoritarian. This model is found in the views and studies of E. Franklin Frazier. 2. The Isolation Model—The Black Church is characterized by “involuntary isolation” which is due to predominately lower- class statuses in the black community. Isolation from civic affairs and mass apathy are the results of racial segregation in ghettos. Thus, black religion is viewed as being primarily lower class and otherworldly. The isolation model is found in the work of Anthony Orum and Charles Silberman.

As “ghostbusters,” it is our duty to put to rest, reschedule, and even cancel our debts to these spirits. We must refuse to pay what we owe. To paraphrase Nietzsche, we must know when to remember the ancestors and when to forget them. Or as Kenneth Burke would put it, we need to know when to be pious and when to be impious. Sometimes—and this oxymoron is appropriate—the best way to remember the ancestors, those who prepared the way, is to forget them. To forget at the very least those aspects of our inheritance that do not address our contemporary needs or meet our ethical-political standards.

Avey’s girlfriends regarded her decision to abandon the cruise as obscenely extravagant. If consumerism is the dominant form of spirituality in modernity/ postmodernity, then Avey is exemplary. She has been captured by a materialist ethos where to buy is to be. Consumerism is her being. Addicted to consumption, Avey consumes novelty and stimulation like fuel. The pursuit of happiness, her very well-being, is inextricably tied to accumulating things. Happiness is property. There is certainly a deep wisdom in John Locke’s analysis of property-ownership as a constituent of liberal freedom and in Thomas Jefferson’s reconfiguration of property as happiness.

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