Toward a Pedagogy of Hope: A Womanist Christian Education and Homiletics Approach to  Catalyzing Hope in the Lives of Young Black Women in America    Open Access

Miles, Veronice (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zw12z5531?locale=en
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Abstract

Over the past several years our vision of the future has reached a level of uncertainty that evokes more questions than answers. Suffering abounds in the lives of persons and communities throughout the world. Environmental distress and the ongoing depletion of our natural resources threaten our global wellbeing. Our world cries out for wholeness, calling us together as human family and as preservers of our shared domicile. The destructive potential of the present is compounded in the lives of young black women. Not only do they hear the cry of global and domestic suffering, they experience the ferocity of oppression as an ongoing reminder of our collective unwellness. They live and survive within the tension of their hope-filled dreams and a cultural and religious milieu that they experience as oppressive and hostile.

Cultural negation distorts the voice of Hope and can lead to culturally induced despair, an insidious embodiment of hopelessness intended to convince persons that oppressive social constructions are impervious to change. Hope negates culturally induced despair and invites us to participate in creating a just and life-affirming existence for all persons. In this investigation, I explore the socio-cultural and religious dynamics thatengender culturally induced despair as a pedagogical problem. Our pedagogical tasks include addressing (unmasking) and redressing (negating) culturally induced despair, so that young black women and othersmight sense the voice of Hope and embrace life affirming alternatives.

The resultant pedagogical model, drawn from a cultural analysis of hope and despair, interdisciplinary dialogue, ethnographic interviews, and educational and homiletical theory and practice, is intended for implementation in worship communities interested in sustaining and enhancing young black women's ability to live with hope. The model embodies commitments and pedagogical practices that are imaginative, transformational, dialogical, and relational. It also contains strategies that communities might adopt and adapt to their specific contexts. Finally, the model invites us to live with hope as an expression of our shared existence.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS


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Abstract

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Acknowledgments

Table of Contents

1 HOPE AND CULTURALLY INDUCED DESPAIR: A HISTORICAL
PERSPECTIVE 1
Hope And Despair In The Experiences Of Black Folk 9
Hope And Despair In The Experiences Of Black
Women 18
Image, Power And The Imagination 34
Image, Myth And Ideology 49
2 METHODOLOGY 70
Cultural Analysis Of Hope And Despair 74
Interpretive Theory Building 105
3 SAFE SPACES FOR OUR STORIES 114
Young, Black And Female 116
Staving Off Culturally Induced Despair 128
Resonances Of Hope 137
Hope, Culturally Induced Despair And The Black Church 149
Hope-Filled Musings 158
Patterns For Living In The Present And Into The Future 160
Negating Representations And Controlling Images 178
4 EXPLORING THE THEOLOGICAL TERRAIN 184
Theologies Of Hope: Twentieth And Twenty-First Centuries 188
Womanist Conceptions Of Hope 189
Human Suffering And The Veracity Of Hope 205
Hope And God's Historical Fidelity 231
Hope And The Spirit Of God 251
To Live With Hope 255
Hope-Filled Musings 257
5 KERYGMA, DIDACHE AND THE GOSPEL OF HOPE 260
Pedagogy, Epistemology And Learning Hope 264
Learning In U.S. Culture 266
Pedagogy And Epistemology 271

Pedagogy And Christian Hope 274

Mapping The Historical Discussion 292

Contemporary Musings 301

I n Response 311

Toward A Pedagogical Consideration Of Hope 313

6 ASCERTAINING THE VOICE OF HOPE: A PEDAGOGICAL MODEL 316

Midwifery And The Temerity To Live With Hope 318

Insights And Pedagogical Intimations From The Cultural Analysis Of Hope And Despair 322

Pedagogical Intimations From The Theological Discourse 331

A Pedagogical Model For Hope 340 Pedagogical Commitments 341

Preaching And Teaching In A Shared Communal Ethos: Midwives Of Hope 366

Some Last Words 396

Attachment A 400

Bibliography 403

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