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Ethics That Matters

African, Caribbean, and African American Sources

edited by James Samuel Logan and Marcia Y. Riggs

Publication Year: 2011

In light of globalization, ongoing issues of race, gender, and class, and the rapidly changing roles of institutions, this volume asserts that Christian social ethics must be reframed completely. Three questions are at the heart of this vital inquiry: How can moral community flourish in a global context? What kinds of leadership do we need to nurture global moral community? How shall we construe social institutions and social movements for change in the twenty–first century?

The illustrious contributors include: Anthony B. Pinn, Katie G. Cannon, Noel Erksine, Jacob Olupona, Riggins R. Earl Jr., James H. Cone, Dwight N. Hopkins, Lewis V. Baldwin, Jonathan L. Walton, Rosetta E. Ross, Traci C. West, Melanie L. Harris, Victor Anderson, Emilie M. Townes, and Barbara A. Holmes.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xii

...Katie Geneva Cannon is the Annie Scales Rogers Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va. In 1983 Cannon became the first African American woman to receive a PhD from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and was also the first African American woman to be ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She is the author or...

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pp. 1-8

...analytical, and normative reflection upon the complex dimensions of social life. Ethicists are doing social ethics whenever we describe and analyze our human experiences in social groups (race, ethnicity, gender, class) and systems (religious, educational, political, and economic) in order to propose norms that we hope will make our lives together in those groups and systems more just. In the twentyfirst century the quest for more just social life is complicated by our ever-expanding acknowledgment of diverse human...

PART 1: Moral Dilemmas

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Chapter 1: Maps of Meaning

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pp. 11-22

...African Diaspora as drawn in, on, and through history, and in the process producing life maps. These life maps that constitute the African Diaspora are drawn to various scales—from the personal to the communal, from the national to the transnational. Each, in its own way, speaks to the nature and meaning of human existence within the context of simple and complex interactions and exchanges....

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Chapter 2: Homecoming in the Hinterlands

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pp. 23-36

...I had the good fortune of representing the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America at the service of ordination and installation of the Reverend Mgbeke George Okore, the first woman ordained to the gospel ministry by a mainline denomination in Nigeria. Born in Mkpakpi, a village within the province of Arochukwu/ Ohafia, she was a profoundly accomplished...

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Chapter 3: Women in Rastafari

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pp. 37-50

...date back to the Great Revival Church of the 1860s in Jamaica. The Great Revival was a logical outgrowth of the Native Baptist Church, due to the preaching of African Americans, who started the Ethiopian Baptist Church in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1784. In fact, the first Christian preaching that most enslaved persons in Jamaica heard was by the original Native Baptists, George Liele, George Gibb, Moses Baker, George Lewis, and Nicholas Swiegle, even though the Moravian Church in Jamaica...

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Chapter 4: Religious Pluralism in Africa

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pp. 51-60

...I problematize the concept of religious pluralism in Africa as a trope for analyzing and interpreting sets of oral tradition called Ifa divination poetry. My objective is to examine Ifa divination poetry so as to uncover the way that this indigenous tradition understands religious pluralism. I argue that the oral narratives of Africa’s triple religious heritage present a religious universe in which Islam, Christianity, and indigenous religion share a common space that...

PART 2: Moral Community

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Chapter 5: The American Constitution

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pp. 63-76

...Constitution symbolizes America’s social contract, but for black Americans it has been used paradoxically both to disempower and to empower them individually and collectively.1 The Constitution’s negative and positive references to blacks has produced in them despair on the one hand and hope on the other. By examining the different phases of the historical development of the Constitution, it is possible to see how the white framers and amenders of the document crafted it to speak in troubling exclusionary...

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Chapter 6: The Challenge of Race

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pp. 77-98

...believed that there is no greater threat to the future existence of America than the problem of race. Both spent their lives challenging America to make real the promises of democracy by bridging the gap between what it says about freedom and justice and its practice of racial segregation. Du Bois, author of the...

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Chapter 7: Race, Religion, and the Race

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pp. 99-122

...published an article that suggested that Mr. Obama was beginning to distance himself from his pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., and that Obama might be linked to a radical form of black Christianity. Also, occasionally throughout 2007, some corporate media attempted to link Rev. Wright with Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan; and, if Rev. Wright was Obama’s pastor, then, in the logic of some corporate media, Obama was tethered to Farrakhan...

PART 3: Moral Discourse

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Chapter 8: “Who Is Their God?”

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pp. 125-138

...electronic church, the full gospel church, word of faith churches, the megachurch, the multicultural church, and the dying phenomenon of the neighborhood church; and the mere mention of these and other ecclesial models suggests that the church is somewhat uncomfortable, and perhaps even anxious, about how best to define itself, especially in a culture in which there is a growing distrust of institutions as a whole. This identity and/or definitional crisis is further exacerbated by the loss of a genuine sense of what it means...

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Chapter 9: Onward, Christian Soldiers!

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pp. 139-158

...toward the expansion of conservative evangelicalism. The cooling media of radio and television are particularly well suited for the clear-cut though bombastic, and creative though biblically literalist, presentations of the Protestant faith. This is cause for concern. Religious faith is often mounted on the hinges of shared cultural values. Religious broadcasters appeal to their listeners by cloaking particular cultural and political commitments within Christian language so that the two become indistinguishable. This is why within the subculture ...

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Chapter 10: Overcoming Christianization

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pp. 159-170

...conflicting perspectives about the relationship of religion and politics among black Christians. Within the historical context of “decades of complaints and controversies on the question of how and whether African American churches could be a progressive political force,” Savage says, the civil rights movement “changed our notions and expectations about the relationship between African American religion and politics.” Because of the magnitude and accomplishments of the civil rights era ...

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Chapter 11: A Moral Epistemology

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pp. 171-186

...sexual violence against a woman is wrong. We also know that boyfriends and husbands should not shove, hit, kick, or in any way abuse their girlfriends and wives. But state laws and agencies, as well as religious institutions and nonprofit groups that specifically focus on intimate violence against women, rarely succeed in effectively addressing it. Something goes awry in the process of transforming our certainty about the immorality of gender violence into a constructive communal response. When translating what...

PART 4: Moral Vision

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Chapter 12: An Ecowomanist Vision

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pp. 189-194

...In this essay, I use Paris’s reflection on the interconnectedness between self and community as well as African cosmology as a point of departure for discussing ecowomanism. Ecowomanism is reflective of the second part of Alice Walker’s definition that asserts a womanist quest for “the survival and wholeness of entire people.”2 Moreover, the primacy of community is in keeping with a womanist commitment to establish multiple forms of justice that will promote survival and wholeness in the lives of women ...

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Chapter 13: An American Public Theology

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pp. 195-214

...Buttrick’s comments and hopes, however, for the recovery of an American public theology supported by a commitment to a “Kingdom of God, God’s Social Order” are tragically unfulfilled in the twenty-first century, and its possibility remains impotent in our current climate of “secularism,” on the one hand, and an “incipient nihilism,” on the other. In such a climate, a public theology...

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Chapter 14: Walking on the Rimbones

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pp. 215-228

...on her parents’ lives and told through the stories of John Pearson, a minister in the small black Florida town of Eatonville; his wife, Lucy Potts; and other women in the town. Hurston uses the biblical passage of Jonah 4:6-11 for the novel’s title as she depicts Pearson as the gourd vine; weaknesses and destructive tendencies are the worm that destroys the vine...

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Chapter 15: Still on the Journey

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pp. 229-240

...maps or GPS systems to guide us or our institutions toward moral flourishing. Yet, we know that the period of waiting is over, and we are on the move again. The responsibility is to honor and learn from the past, and simultaneously to reclaim a theology of public life that invites the emergence of the beloved community. Given where we are on the journey, neither tinkering nor angst will do...

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pp. 241-242

...Princeton Seminary’s emeritus professor of Christian social ethics Dr. Peter J. Paris. The important leadership of Dr. Paris as president of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Christian Ethics, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion is matched by his contributions to the field of Christian social ethics. His scholarship teaches students and scholars. He teaches...


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pp. 243-262


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pp. 263-277

E-ISBN-13: 9781451413489
E-ISBN-10: 1451413483
Print-ISBN-13: 9780800619763
Print-ISBN-10: 0800619765

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2011