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Publisher's Summary

A moving essay collection promoting freedom, self-love, and divine wholeness for Black women and opening new levels of understanding and ideological transformation for non-Black women and allies

“Candice Marie Benbow is a once-in-a-generation theologian, the kind who, having ground dogma into dust with the fine point of a stiletto, leads us into the wide-open spaces of faith.” (Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage and co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection)

Blurring the boundaries of righteous and irreverent, Red Lip Theology invites us to discover freedom in a progressive Christian faith that incorporates activism, feminism, and radical authenticity. Essayist and theologian Candice Marie Benbow’s essays explore universal themes like heartache, loss, forgiveness, and sexuality, and she unflinchingly empowers women who struggle with feeling loved and nurtured by church culture.

Benbow writes powerfully about experiences at the heart of her Black womanhood. In honoring her single mother’s love and triumphs — and mourning her unexpected passing — she finds herself forced to shed restrictions she’d been taught to place on her faith practice. And by embracing alternative spirituality and womanist theology, and confronting staid attitudes on body positivity and LGBTQ+ rights, Benbow challenges religious institutions, faith leaders, and communities to reimagine how faith can be a tool of liberation and transformation for women and girls.

©2022 Candice Marie Benbow (P)2022 Random House Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Critic Reviews

"This lush, funny, deeply personal memoir is a beautiful gift to church girls everywhere and an instant classic on faith and getting free.”—Deesha Philyaw, author of the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

Red Lip Theology is more than a come-to-Jesus moment for the church; it’s also a potent and fearless cry of hope and life for a new generation of believers.”—Matthew Paul Turner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Is God Like? and When God Made You 

“This book is a theological masterpiece, a love song, and a tender exploration of what it means to live and grow up and fail and get better and put the broken pieces of ourselves back together.”—Danté Stewart, author of Shoutin’ in the Fire 

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What listeners say about Red Lip Theology

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Very good - I felt seen

Thank you Candice for this one! Spoke directly to me and many others who Black women who hasn’t wrestled with their faith and the Black church.

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Unfulfilled

When I came across Benbow’s work I approached it with the assumption that finally Black women’s experience within the church would be comprehensively contextualized through the lens of biblical texts. Instead, this book is full of personal narratives outside of the gospel framework and shaped by Benbow’s personal window of pain. At times I found myself feeling empathetic towards her experiences, yet I could not help but to wonder if these were excerpts out of Benbow’s diary. My hope for a biblical approach towards “Red Lip Theology” was not fulfilled. However I did leave with great admiration towards “Mama”.

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A love letter to a mama

This journey was just a beautiful story of womanhood between a girl and her mama. I saw myself in these words and I saw my own mother as well. Thank you Candace for sharing your story.

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Simply grateful

I feel seen, heard, validated and understood! It feels good to know I’m not alone! Thank you!!

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Alignment for sure!

Candice’s story and journey was striking from the very first page. I have left this book with a more confident feeling of freedom to be all that God has called me to be and not apologize for one bit of. I have completed this book with the feeling that I too am able to fly! It’s so inspirational and helpful on your faith walk journey.

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great listen

Just what I needed to hear. open, unapologetically honest. I even made a few notes. love the spiritual care squad.

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A Black Millennial MUST read!

This book has made feel so seen! It speaks so deeply to the struggles of so many young Black Christian women. It’s a book I’ve already recommended and would recommend it again a million times over! I love Candice Benbow and I absolutely LOVE this book!

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Loved it!!

Loved it! Even as a 40-something black woman, I found this to be so relatable, freeing and empowering.

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This Book Is Right On Time!

Thank you, Candice! I needed this book! You affirm and give witness to my current journey.

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Thank you

Thank you for this open-hearted, welcoming, and resonant offering. It was what I needed at this very moment. Also…I am grateful to be a part of the community of readers. I look so very forward to your next book.

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  • Jade-Marie
  • 01-20-22

Permission slip for self-exploration & acceptance

A must read for black women with large parts of their identity rooted in christianity. This book felt refreshingly honest but also uncomfortable at times, It freed me to let go of self judgement, trust my decisions and accept all parts of the human experience. Whether you agree or disagree with her views, you're left with a huge admiration for Candice's audacious courage to share her truth & an invitation to do the same - with no apologies,