19 Nov 2010

Black Christ in Nailsworth

I have been meaning to blog on this for a while as I think it is great - and doesn't get enough publicity locally....in St Georges' Church, Nailsworth there is a great mural and a painting of the black Christ.

It really is worth a pop in if you haven't seen them....

Photos: mural and then painting

The mural is by local artist, Sir Oliver Heywood, who has since died - and is designed to be looked at as you leave Church - rather than about the life and teachings of Christ it covers the community and their activities - including 'Everyman' and 'Everywoman' - a fog around the man's head represents the stuff unresolved on our journeys. You can read more in the Church.

The other bit I like is the painting by Lorna May Wadsworth - she uses the fashion model Tafari (I'd never heard of him) to be her Jesus in The Last Supper - she says she didn't want to do a picture that would look like the 'received wisdom' of what it should look like.

Indeed many communities have had Christ in their own image- not sure why we are getting the underlined text now but can't seem to switch it off - anyhow in the 60s some black activists wanted nothing to do with a white Christ - but it started in the US with slavery. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X also raised the issue - it is said Martin Luther King 's theology made Christ a liberator of African-Americans but Malcolm X made Christ's skin color an important component to the theology of the Black Christ (Hey we lost those underlined bits now!).

Some reseachers like Albert Cleage claim Christ was black. As always Wikipedia has a discussion on the topic - see here.

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