Daily questions for reflection:
Gender and class play significant parts in the Christmas story. Much of the scandal of the Christmas story comes from the fact that because Mary is a young woman pregnant out of wedlock, she is at risk of being pushed to the margins of society.
- How does your own race, class, sexual or gender orientation influence the way you read Scripture?
- How does it influence the way you understand the Christmas story?
Race, Sexuality, and Class in Pastoral Practice
Brite Divinity School offers a course titled, "Race, Sexuality, and Class in Pastoral Practice." Through the course, students examine the construction of gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, the “rules” and practices of diverse racial and cultural groups, and the differences shaped by socioeconomic class illustrate the cultural relativity of personal, family, and relational life. In this course we will critique our own internalization of these “rules” and practices and pursue perspectives that encourage and affirm respect for diversity in various relational systems. We will explore the way sexism, heterosexism, genderism, racism, and classism function oppressively limiting possibilities for well-being in relationships as well as structurally and systemically and shaping the context for care, and we will develop personal and professional strategies for resisting their destructive effects. Using the lenses of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and class we will explore appropriate clinical interventions and continuing care strategies.
African-American Experiences and Perspectives in Social Ethics: This course explores the ways in which African-American religious, theological, and cultural thinkers articulate traditions of justice, flourishing, and fulfillment in North America from the 1700s to present. This course maintains that African-American experiences have been historically shaped by interlocking oppressions in America, particularly racial injustice. Because of such oppressions, black religious and cultural thought continues to fashion liberative traditions of social ethics as critique to American hegemony and domination. This course explores both 1) interlocking oppressions that shape African-American experiences in America and 2) liberative black traditions of social ethics that castigate such hegemony and exploitation.
Other Justice-centered courses offered at Brite:
Ministry in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Community: This class is designed for ministers-in-training who will likely participate in conversations about homosexuality in their churches and communities, provide ministry and pastoral care to Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered persons, or assume leadership roles in hermeneutical/theological debates about homosexuality. Given this likelihood, this course seeks to equip ministers with a base of essential material about LGBT experience, including literature and videography in the field, biblical criticism,and theological constructions. The voices of LGBT persons themselves will be the primary sources for this course
The Bible and Immigration and Hospitality: This course surveys migration from sending places to host places and intersects it with the stories of migration in the biblical text. Questions on what causes immigration, what migrants endure during their journeys, and how migrants are received when they arrive will be explored. The course will also explore the theological theme of hospitality, namely, what does Christian hospitality entail for newly arrive migrants?
Special Topics in Christian Education - Ministries of Advocacy and Action: Students will reflect on social action and methods of religious education designed to motivate and sustain ministry teams that are involved in social action and advocacy. Students will prepare a lesson designed to inspire and call people to ministries of social action and advocacy, participate in an activity of action or advocacy and reflect upon it using practical theology resources, and prepare and teach lessons designed to train and support ministry teams. The focus of this course is upon recruiting and sustaining these ministries rather than creating and administrating the ministries themselves. Students will have the opportunity to focus their assignments on justice-related issues that they are passionate about and that are relevant to their own contexts.
To learn more about Brite, visit https://www.brite.edu/