Introduction to Womanist Theology & Ethics

Spring 2018
T 1:30 - 3:20pm
Area II
MDIV Requirements: 
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the Christian witness of African American women, and the significant contributions of black womanist theological and ethical thought to church and society. Emphasis will be placed on womanist religious history and method, biblical interpretation, theology, ethics, black women and anti-black state sanctioned violence, and third-wave womanism.  The four tenets of womanist inquiry – radical subjectivity, traditional communalism, redemptive self-love, and critical engagement – will guide students in the work of uncovering the quadrilateral intersections of race, gender, class, and sexual oppressions in the everyday lives of black women and how they shape black women’s Christian practice, spiritual witness, historical and contemporary service to church and society, biblical hermeneutics and theological imagination. Critical dialogical potential among different women, as well as with men and other allies who are committed to the work of strengthening the body of Christ by attending to the intersectional flesh and blood realities of black women will also be explored.


1.      Know the differences and similarities between black womanist, black feminist, and white feminist theological inquiry

2.      Possess general knowledge of womanist religious thought and method

3.      Possess critical insight concerning womanist religious reflection from historical, biblical, theological, ecclesial, and ethical perspectives

4.      Understand the significant role black women hold in relationship to the black church

5.      Demonstrate theological competence in engaging womanist methods to reflect on matters concerning the 21st century church and society

Background Expected: 

Pre-requisites not required.

Course Requirements: 

Completion of reading assignments

Punctual attendance and active participation

Written assignments – conscientization paper, discussion starter paper/group presentation; midterm book critique, final paper

Basis of Evaluation: 

Regular and punctual attendance

Completion of assignments by due date

    Accuracy and precision of scholarship (including use of inclusive language)

    Clarity and precision of oral and written presentation

    Depth of comprehension of reading material and in-class engagement


    Grammar & Style