Tribalism and religious identity in the work of Richard Wright

Sylvester Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Richard Wright is familiar to many as a literary author whose work portrayed race and adversity in America. Examining a less familiar theme in Wright's work, this article examines Wright's use of the concept of tribalism. It argues that Wright employed this problematic metaphor in his fiction and non-fiction in order to depict American revivalism. Relating this to Wright's ideas about West African culture, this article analyzes the complex problems to which Wright responded and the often contradictory orientations of Wright himself. It concludes that Wright's critique of religious identity and difference is ultimately helpful for ongoing scholarly studies of religion in America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-188
Number of pages18
JournalLiterature and Theology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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