Bearing witness to more liberating futures in theological education
In Notes of a Native Daughter, Keri Day testifies to structural inequalities and broken promises of inclusion through the eyes of a black woman who experiences herself as both stranger and friend to prevailing models of theological education. Inviting the reader into her religious world—a world that is African American and, more specifically, Afro-Pentecostal—she not only uncovers the colonial impulses of theological education in the United States but also proposes that the lived religious practices and commitments of progressive Afro-Pentecostal communities can help the theological academy decolonize and reenvision multiple futures.
Deliberately speaking in the testimonial form—rather than the more conventional mode of philosophical argument—Day bears witness to the truth revealed in her and others’ lived experience in a voice that is unapologetically visceral, emotive, demonstrative, and, ultimately, communal. With prophetic insight, she addresses this moment when the fastest-growing group of students and teachers are charismatic and neo-Pentecostal people of color for whom theological education is currently a site of both hope and harm. Calling for repentance, she provides a redemptive narrative for moving forward into a diverse future that can be truly liberating only when it allows itself to be formed by its people and the Spirit moving in them.