Empowerment Ethics for a Liberated People: A Path to African American Social Transformation

Empowerment Ethics for a Liberated People: A Path to African American Social Transformation

Empowerment Ethics for a Liberated People: A Path to African American Social Transformation

Empowerment Ethics for a Liberated People: A Path to African American Social Transformation

Synopsis

Cheryl Sanders here sharpens the agenda of black liberation by offering both a fresh reading of historical black religion and a distinctive approach to Christian ethics. Arguing that the experience of oppression has been the catalyst for black moral life and thought, Sanders traces several paths or approaches that African American Christians have taken in moving from victimization to moral agency: testimony, protest, uplift, cooperation, achievement, remoralization, and ministry. Informative and engaging, earnest and constructive, Sanders's book envisions a new way of empowering people to take responsibility for their moral and spiritual development.

Excerpt

This book describes how Christian spirituality and ethics have shaped African American notions of moral progress from the nineteenth century to the present. It also examines how religious commitment relates to social responsibility in the life and work of African American Christians. the term empowerment: ethics refers to the norms, values, and principles that have guided this people’s journey from slavery to liberation and from victimization to moral agency. Empowerment ethics is lifted up here as a theme for the continued progress of a people “in charge”—those who have acquired access to the goods and services of the society and who are challenged to direct their own institutions and administer their own resources in ways that are liberating and empowering for those who still languish in poverty and despair. the analysis of African American moral progress is grounded in a paradigm of seven approaches to empowerment— testimony, protest, uplift, cooperation, achievement, remoralization, and ministry—each of which represents a mode of focused moral reflection and social action on the part of conscientious Christians in response to the plight and prospects of an oppressed African American people.

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