Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

Language of Inclusivity: Womanist Theological Thought in Addressing Issues of Social Injustice

Language of Inclusivity: Womanist Theological Thought in Addressing Issues of Social Injustice

Theia Easley

The use of religious rhetoric is commonly seen in social movements in America, such as the Civil Rights Movement, because we have the habit of using familiar symbols to make our point and support a claim for change. In what anthropologist Rhys Williams calls “symbolic repertoire”, we recycle symbols that were created by various conventions and use them creatively in a way that the culture is already familiar with. Womanist theology serves as a prescriptive and descriptive theological reflection that places women at the center of its method; however, its method extends to include everyone in the community. This theology uses religious language to challenges the perspectives of other male theologies, specifically Black Theology, to incorporate the voices, experiences, and theological perspectives of black women and men when it comes to addressing issues of social injustice. Womanist theologians picked up where the Civil Rights movement left off in regards to resolving issues that affect not just black men but the black community as a whole. The goal of this paper is to determine if Womanist theology is in fact, a theology that is more inclusive. To examine this claim, I first explain the place that language has in a culture. Second, I provide a brief summary of the anthropological study of religion to determine the role that religion plays in a society and summarized the role of religion in African American culture, along with their views of politics. Third, I provide a brief survey of black and womanist theology. Lastly, to determine whether Womanist theological thought is more inclusive, I examine examples of Womanist theological discourse to find any evidence of being a language of inclusivity. Furthermore, I find that evidence of inclusivity is not only found in Womanist discourse but also its methodology in addressing social change.

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April 6, 2015 - Posted by | abstract

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