Using case studies from individuals who have experienced abuse or who struggle with the reality of domestic violence, Balm for Gilead identifies and explores theological and ethical themes that are crucial for understanding and revitalizing the pastoral care of African American families who suffer because of child and domestic abuse. Illuminating the dynamics of abuse in these families, and challenging the silence and helplessness surrounding their pain, this cross-cultural work will have a profound effect on all whose leves have been touched by this social and personal evil. Balm for Gilead is indispensable for pastoral leaders whose ministry and profession is often the only hope of healing and reconciliation available or acceptable of African American families.
"The silence is over and the abuse is finally exposed. The black church can no longer bury its head in the sand regarding the painful issue of domestic violence. This is the profound message of this eye-opening and much needed book about physical and sexual abuse occurring in African American families. Holding perpetrators of abuse responsible for their behavior, this book sensitively examines the connection of domestic abuse to racism and sexism. The authors conclude that the black church, while silent in the past, has a much needed and valuable role to play in bringing its many resources to bear on this gigantic problem. It gives concrete and important suggestions for remedying this grave moral and justice issue." --Edward P. Wimberly, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA
"A valuable contribution to the field. Eugene and Poling do not hedge on either the reality or the complexity of domestic violence in the African American community. Their urgent plea for the church to respond comes at a critical time. Everyone who cares about domestic violence and the role of religious leadership will benefit from this work." -- Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune, Executive Director, The Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence, Seattle, WA
"For the first time an extensive examination of pastoral care to African American families has been compassionately and courageously produced. Combining thorough social analysis, the stories of persons who have undergone severe abuse, and insightful theological reflection, James Poling and Toinette Eugene inform and challenge those who provide pastoral care to African American families and individuals affected by violence and abuse. This book not only gives analysis of the issues but also provides concrete strategies for intervention for the reduction of abuse in African American families." -- Homer Ashby, McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
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