Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-talk

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Orbis Books, 1993 - Social Science - 287 pages
"In this landmark work of emerging African American womanist theology, Delores Williams finds in the biblical figure of Hagar - mother of Ishmael, cast into the desert by Abraham and Sarah, but protected by God - a prototype for the struggle of African-American women. African slave, homeless exile, surrogate mother, Hagar's story provides an image of survival and defiance appropriate to black women today." "Exploring all the themes inherent in Hagar's story - poverty and slavery, ethnicity and sexual exploitation, exile and encounters with God - Sisters in the Wilderness traces parallels in the history of African-American women from slavery to the present. A particular theology - a womanist theology - emerges from this shared experience; specifically, from the interplay of oppressions on account of race, sex, and class." "In Part I, Williams shows how reading Hagar's story exemplifies the issues and problems black women face. The "forced motherhood," "single motherhood" and "surrogate motherhood" Hagar experienced have been part of black women's lives. Williams also explores the dismal reality of contemporary "racial narcissistic...consciousness" which finds its parallel in Hagar's travail as foreign servant and outcast. Finally, there is the religious resonance of Hagar's sojourns in the wilderness and her encounters with God. These themes Williams finds echoed in the cultural and literary traditions of African-American women." "Part II considers the theological implications of the womanist understanding of Hagar's history. Williams explores the relationship between womanist and black liberation theology, and womanist theology and the black church. Through the combination of social history, political theology, and literary criticism, Williams demonstrates how approaching theology consciously informed by the awareness of the identity of black women results in a rich and vibrant knowledge of the sacred. Sisters in the Wilderness provides a reconstruction of "God-talk" that adds a new dimension of meaning to the struggle for faith in God, Who "makes a way out of no way.""--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Contents

Introduction
1
Part I
13
Chapter 2
34
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Delores S. Williams is Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Union Theological Seminary.

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