Exorcizing Evil: A Womanist Perspective on the Spirituals

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Orbis Books, 1997 - Music - 403 pages
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The Spirituals, born in the early history of the United States, still anchor the soul and awaken the history of much of the African-American community. In Exorcizing Evil, Cheryl Kirk-Duggan tells us of the birthing of the Spirituals by African-American slaves who drew upon their African traditions, their creativity, and spirituality to affirm God, and to cope with oppression amid the evils of slavery and racism. Kirk-Duggan explores the historical context of the Spirituals during the Civil Rights era, and shows us that by embodying the language of power and survival, the Spirituals empowered both slaves and oppressed Blacks to celebrate their life-force and power, and to look to God for support in their suffering. As a womanist theologian, Kirk-Duggan analyzes the language of the Spirituals, lyrics that "name, unmask, and engage the powers". She takes us to performances of the Spirituals by powerful ensembles during the Civil Rights era, and to performances by song leaders and individual singers. We meet the women who lived and sang and worked with the Spirituals. In them, stories and music combine to form a theology of justice and a theodicy in which God affirms the identity of Black people and God's love for them.

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Meaning and Knowing
Theodicy in White and Black
Part II

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About the author (1997)

She is Director of the Center for Women and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

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