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Soul Work

Soul Work

Anti-racist Theologies in Dialogue

Only available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Store.

Editors: Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley, Nancy Palmer Jones

Price: $20.00

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Only available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Store.

.

Papers and discussion transcripts from the UUA Consultation on Theology and Racism held in Boston in January 2001. Addresses such questions as: What theological or philosophical beliefs bind us together in our shared struggle against racism? What are the costs of racism, both for the oppressors and the oppressed?

These collected papers address questions that help us understand the complexity of racism, encouraging readers to reconsider long-held beliefs. A resource presenting many points of view, Soul Work can be used for individual reflection and study, for book discussion groups or adult education classes, for church leadership discussions or minister's retreats, for Sunday programs, and to create or supplement anti-racism workshops. Each paper is followed by a transcript of the resulting responses, a summary of the major points and questions for personal or group reflection.

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Foreword

Introduction

Theology's Great Sin

James Cone

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

The Problem of Theology in the Work of Anti-Racism

Rosemary Bray-McNatt

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

Theology and Anti-Racism

Patricia Jimenez

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

The Other Side of Route Two

Gary E. Smith

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

Racism and Anti-Racism in A Culture of Violence

George Tinker

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

Reclaiming Our Prophetic Voice

Paul Rasor

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

The Paradox of Racial Oppression

Thandeka

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

Toward A New Paradigm of Uncovering Neo-Racism

William R. Jones

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

Not Somewhere Else, But Here

Rebecca Parker

The Response

The Dialogue

Study Questions

Conclusions

Creating Partnerships for Anti-Racist Action

Individual Unitarian Universalists and some Unitarian Universalist congregations have been engaged in racial justice work for decades, but only since the 1992 General Assembly resolution entitled "Racial and Cultural Diversity in Unitarian Universalism" has the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) made a sustained effort to address racism as a systemic issue. Racism was raised as a theological issue in the 1996 report to the General Assembly entitled Journey Toward Wholeness-The Next Step: From Racial and Cultural Diversity to Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racist Multi culturalism. Following the 1997 General Assembly's adoption of the resolution, "Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association," the Association began to play a decisive role in work that was intentionally focused on anti-racism-not only as an institutional and structural issue, but also as a spiritual issue. In the ensuing years, as leaders and participants continued ever-deeper engagement in the work, it became clear that the spiritual dimension of anti-racism is of critical importance.

So why theology? Because, as part of the spiritual quest, theological reflection helps us to test our beliefs, assumptions, and religious values in relation to the experiences and viewpoints of others. Are racism and violence, for example, social construction or aspects of human nature? What is our epistemology? In other words, how can we respond with certainty or proclaim "the truth" about racism when we live in a pluralistic world? How do we know what we know (or think we know) about racism, about social systems, about injustice in the world when our social location may not mirror the worldview or experience of one whose social context is quite different? How can we respond with certainty or proclaim "the truth" about racism when we live in a pluralistic world where racism manifests itself in radically different ways? These are cutting edge theological questions that particixiii pants begin to engage. Through theological reflection, social engagement, and discourse with others, our perspectives deepen, and sometimes change how we respond. Our spiritual yearnings are not fully coherent without such theological engagement and subsequent integration into our lives. This is part of what faith development means-in light of new information, we are called to reconsider everything we "know," everything we have put our faith and trust in.

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