Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Content and Context in Theological Ethics book series (CCTE)


Conscientization is a primarily epistemological move from a naïve to a critical awareness of reality. It often begins in ontological disturbance, perhaps in a moment or experience of cognitive dissonance when the perception of a fact, image, or interaction conflicts with one’s beliefs about reality: the different treatment accorded a friend who is a person of color; the sight of homeless children in a shelter; war reporting revealing that “collateral damage” includes a family killed at a wedding. Something punctures complacency, and the Spirit moves into that gap to draw our attention to the fact that not all is as it should be. In some cases, we plaster over the gap, heal over the Spirit’s intrusion, ignore the knock at the door of our hearts, and go on with business as usual. In other cases, the Spirit gains a foothold: we acknowledge the compunction, and begin to attend more intentionally to reality as others experience it.


Credit Union Restorative Justice White People White Privilege Homeless Child 
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    Lucy Tatman is a notable example; for her exploration of the epistemological underpinnings of several key feminist theologians, see Lucy Tatman, Knowledge That Matters: A Feminist Theological Paradigm and Epistemology (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2001).Google Scholar
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    Works exploring the nature and effects of white-skin privilege and its interactions and correlations with racial prejudice and oppression include Robert Jensen, The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege (San Francisco, CA: City Lights Publishing, 2005);Google Scholar
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© Tammerie Day 2012

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