Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Reconciliation and Intercultural Studies (MA-RIS)

Department

Theology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Brenda Salter McNeil, D.Min., Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies

Keywords

African Americans; African American churches; Communities; African American families; Healing circles; Psychic trauma; Racism—Religious aspects—Christianity; Reconciliation—Religious aspects—Christianity

Abstract

This thesis will examine the ways in which African American communities can engage in a healing process that will produce personal, relational, communal, societal and global restoration. This project will specifically identify and examine the trauma and brokenness that African Americans experience in a racialized society. To accomplish this, a theological foundation will be established that will help to develop strategies, tools, and skills that can support the process of healing and restoration. In addition, this thesis will explain how current models of reconciliation are not adequate to address the deeply rooted complexities that people of color face in America. To achieve this the following question will be explored in this thesis: Will Christian healing circles begin the restoration process for African American individuals and families who have experienced the trauma of living in a racialized society and foster wholeness and renewal in their relationship with others? This thesis is based on the belief that the responsibility of healing is the African American community’s obligation in the journey of reconciliation, in order to reach its full God given potential as agents of transformation, restoration and social justice.

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