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Conscientization

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Credit Union Restorative Justice White People White Privilege Homeless Child 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Judit Moschkovich, “—but I Know You, American Woman,” in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, ed. Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa (Watertown, MA: Persephone Press, 1981), 79–80. Emphases in original.Google Scholar
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    Ada María Isasi-Díaz, La Lucha Continues: Mujerista Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004), 110.Google Scholar
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  4. 4.
    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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    Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 1970), 111–13.Google Scholar
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    Maria Harris, Fashion Me a People: Curriculum in the Church (Lousiville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989), 139.Google Scholar
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    Gustavo Gutiérrez, On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent, trans. Matthew J. O’Connell (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1987), xiii. Emphasis in original.Google Scholar
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    Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996), 89–90.Google Scholar
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    Carroll Saussy, The Gift of Anger: A Call to Faithful Action (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), 117.Google Scholar
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    Andrew Lester, Anger: Discovering Your Spiritual Ally (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), 56.Google Scholar
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    Farhana Hossain, “Congressional Leaders on the Bailout Bill,” New York Times (2008), http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/09/30/us/politics/CONGRESS-VOTE-QUOTES.html.Google Scholar
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    Ada María Isasi-Díaz, “Solidarity: Love of Neighbor in the Twenty-First Century,” in Lift Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theologies from the Underside, ed. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite and Mary Potter Engel (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1998), 32.Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    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
  14. Mab Segrest, Memoir of a Race Traitor (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1994).Google Scholar
  15. Tim Wise, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son (Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, 2005).; andGoogle Scholar
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  17. Paula S. Rothenberg, ed., White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism, Second ed. (New York: Worth Publishers, 2005). For an exploration of whiteness as a habit of mind,Google Scholar
  18. see Shannon Sullivan, Revealling Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006).Google Scholar
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    Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack,” in White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism, ed. Paula S. Rothenberg (New York: Worth Publishers, 2005). Jensen, Heart of Whiteness. Wise, White Like Me.Google Scholar
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    Thandeka, Learning to Be White: Money, Race, and God in America (New York: The Continuum Publishing Group, 2002), 3ff.Google Scholar
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    Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present (New York: HarperPerennial, 2003 [1980]).Google Scholar
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    James W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (New York: Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 1995).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tammerie Day 2012

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