Briefly Explain the Impact of Womanist Homiletic in the Black Church
Moreover, one may also hear them acknowledge this vocation as one not made by their own choosing but through a mysticism of acute hearing—obedience to the divine call from God to preach the gospel. Additionally, even children of preachers understand “the call” as something not only significant but sacred, even though there are pressures from peers to make them somewhat ashamed of being a “preacher’s kid,” such as the pressures I have experienced.
This God does not liberate her but does provide her the means to survive in the wilderness.Womanist theology is a diamond with several facets, which were first illuminated in the work of Cannon (ethics), Grant (theology), Williams (theology), Weems (Bible), and Townes (ethics). It has evolved in some significant ways since its early days, returning to Williams’s fundamental hermeneutical question about whose voices are missing—and giving increasingly broader answers. Yet it remains committed to its original orientation: a concern for the black church and community, the privileging of black women’s experiences, an intersectional perspective that sees oppression as multidimensional, and a blunt interrogation of doctrine and prior theological claims (as evident in the critical scholarship of Karen Baker-Fletcher and M. Shawn Copeland).
For example, outside of the aforementioned works on the United States, there are clear parallels between this dissertation and Suzanne Desan’s Reclaiming the Sacred. Desan aims to “analyze lay religious change in the context of political and cultural turmoil and probe the long-term effects of revolutionary religious activism.” She notes that historians of the French Revolution have “exaggerated and reified the opposition between the Revolution and Catholicism,” while they have also tended to understand Catholicism “as a static, single entity.” Desan complicates these notions by describing changes in the laity and noting the ways in which revolutionary ideology impacted their religious practices (Mouw, Ted, and Barbara Entwisle, 2006). Many Catholic villagers, she writes, “sought to reconcile loyalty to their religion with loyalty to the Revolution.” Her emphasis on “the striking flexibility of culture and politics” during the 1790s parallels some of the main objectives of this dissertation. Court rulings and federal legislation facilitated the gradual death of Jim Crow during the 1960s and 1970s, and many black and white southerners faced a crisis of faith. Some were compelled to courageous acts that openly defied traditional racial customs, while others retreated to the scriptures in attempts to maintain the status quo. But the social upheavals of the 1960s forced many people to reassess their religious practices, and congregants from numerous denominations often determined the responses of their local religious bodies in light of their experiences and interpretations of the events of this era. Indeed, the current factions within many major Protestant denominations have their origins in the civil rights and antiwar movements. While acknowledging this dissertation’s intellectual debts and substantive antecedents, in terms of methodology and evidential base, it differs from previous literature in several ways. Historians who have researched the complexities of religion and racial mores have generally relied heavily upon printed materials (Nuechterlein, James). Denominational periodicals, decrees from annual conventions, and other written documents such as sermons and personal letters provided the bulk of primary sources. These approaches illuminated the perspectives of ministers or ranking officials in denominational hierarchies, but they rarely revealed the sentiments of the mass of church members.
Robinson, Edward J. “‘Like Rats in a Trap’: Samuel Robert Cassius and the 'Race Problem' in Churches of Christ.” Ph.D. diss., Mississippi State University, 2003.
Royse, Nyal D. “A Study of the Environment of Harding College as Perceived by Its Students and Faculty and as Anticipated by Entering Students.” Ed.D. diss., Memphis State University, 1969.
Verkler, Billy Duan. “An Application of Cognitive Dissonance Theory to Reference Group Behavior: A Study of Racial Attitudes of Church Members in Searcy, Arkansas.” Ph.D. diss., Mississippi State University, 1970.
Mouw, Ted, and Barbara Entwisle. “Residential Segregation and Interracial Friendship in Schools.” American Journal of Sociology 112, no. 2 (September 2006): 394-441.
Nuechterlein, James. “How Race Wrecked Liberalism.” First Things 155 (August/September 2005): 32-38