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Title page for ETD etd-07192013-114246

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Thompson, Lisa Lynette
URN etd-07192013-114246
Title The Caged Bird's 21st Century Song: A Homiletic Practical Theology from the Preaching of African American Women
Degree PhD
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
John S. McClure Committee Chair
Dale P. Andrews Committee Member
Jacobus J. Hamman Committee Member
Vanessa B. Beasley Committee Member
  • women
  • race
  • african american
  • black preaching
  • homiletics
  • homiletic pedagogy
  • homiletic theory
  • practice theory
  • religion
  • gender
  • black women
  • preaching
Date of Defense 2013-05-08
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation engages the sermons of African American women with the purpose of learning more about their preaching content and style. I begin by exploring the social location of African American women, and how their social location problematizes their monolithic absorption into the categories of Black preaching and women’s preaching. I then examine the strengths of creative ingenuity as a means of understanding how African American women negotiate listener expectations of a sermon. These listener expectations are cultural products established overtime, through the simultaneous practice of preaching and listening to preaching. At minimum, within sermons, listeners expect to hear something familiar to their life experience, scripture, theological reflection, and a primary message. With these expectations in view, I then analyze the sermons of seven women alongside of Black and women’s preaching literature. I categorize both the distinctive elements of their sermons and ways in which their sermons are parallel to, disruptive to, and divergent from the literature. In order to resource preaching as a form of creative ingenuity, I end with a distinctly pedagogical orientation. I develop a guided process for aspects of sermon development, based on the distinctive components of these preaching women’s sermons.
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