Read Esau McCaulley’s “Reading While Black” with Your Church!


In Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope, the Rev. Canon Dr. Esau McCaulley has captured for us the “ongoing conversation between the collective Black experience and the Bible.” This is a timely book for today, when many Anglican churches in North America are seeking to learn from the Black tradition.

Fr. Esau is an Anglican priest and pastor and serves as Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. He is a canon theologian of the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has written for Anglican Compass and many other publications.


Discounts for Anglican Reading Groups

Anglican Compass has partnered with Fr. Esau and InterVarsity Press to offer a 40% discount for orders of 10 or more copies of the book for church reading groups, Sunday School classes, small groups, etc.

We are encouraging groups to form in September and October. Fill out the form below to sign up and receive the discount code. The discount code begins on August 1 and runs through October 31.

Facebook Group for Discussion

We have created a Facebook group for parish group members to join to help continue the discussion. Join us there at

Also, please discuss the book on social media and use #RWBcompass and #ReadingWhileBlack when you post!

Zoom Call with the Author

We are pleased to announce that Esau McCaulley will join our reading groups for a Zoom call on Thursday, October 29th at 7:00pm Eastern. Anyone who participates in a group discussion will be eligible to attend the Zoom call.

From IVP

Growing up in the American South, Esau McCaulley knew firsthand the ongoing struggle between despair and hope that marks the lives of some in the African American context. A key element in the fight for hope, he discovered, has long been the practice of Bible reading and interpretation that comes out of traditional Black churches. This ecclesial tradition is often disregarded or viewed with suspicion by much of the wider church and academy, but it has something vital to say.

Reading While Black is a personal and scholarly testament to the power and hope of Black biblical interpretation. At a time in which some within the African American community are questioning the place of the Christian faith in the struggle for justice, New Testament scholar McCaulley argues that reading Scripture from the perspective of Black church tradition is invaluable for connecting with a rich faith history and addressing the urgent issues of our times. He advocates for a model of interpretation that involves an ongoing conversation between the collective Black experience and the Bible, in which the particular questions coming out of Black communities are given pride of place and the Bible is given space to respond by affirming, challenging, and, at times, reshaping Black concerns. McCaulley demonstrates this model with studies on how Scripture speaks to topics often overlooked by white interpreters, such as ethnicity, political protest, policing, and slavery.

Ultimately McCaulley calls the church to a dynamic theological engagement with Scripture, in which Christians of diverse backgrounds dialogue with their own social location as well as the cultures of others. Reading While Black moves the conversation forward.

Published on

July 8, 2020


The Anglican Pastor

A classic resource from the founding team of Anglican Compass.

View more from The Anglican Pastor


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