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Notes of a Native Daughter
Testifying in Theological Education
PAPERBACK; Published: 6/29/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7882-3
Price: $ 19.99
151 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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Series: Theological Education between the Times

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.

Table of Contents

1. Hanging New Ornaments
2. Learning to Pass
3. The Blessings and Burdens of Black Theological Education
4. Becoming Undone

“Keri Day writes with incisive intelligence, grace, and eloquence, testifying in hope for the transformation of theological education. Wrapped in the enfleshed experience of the Pentecostal Church, Day shows us what it means to desire the flourishing of others, to act ‘otherwise’ for that flourishing, to yearn and long and become ‘undone’ for the reign of God now.”
— M. Shawn Copeland
Boston College
Praise for the TEBT series:

“At once visionary and realistic, the books in this series offer fresh, short, and very different answers to the question, ‘What is theological education for?’ Studies of that question have appeared every couple of decades and seem to assume that ‘one-size-fits-all’ answers are possible. What’s new and groundbreaking here is that a group of theological educators from a broad array of very different religious traditions address the question in conversation with one another and in light of the changing place of faith communities in contemporary culture.”
— David H. Kelsey
Yale Divinity School
“The authors of this series invite us into an exercise of the imagination—to let loose of the theological school models we know so well and instead craft ways that we teach and learn as if we are living in the new Jerusalem. This is daring work. Will we have the will to grasp it? I encourage you to read and see.”
— Emilie M. Townes
Vanderbilt University Divinity School
“I would be hard-pressed to name any other resource that even approaches this series in its visionary outlook and wide perspective on the challenges and opportunities currently facing theological education. The authors represent an unparalleled selection of leaders in theological education whose views and experiences point to different paths into the future, all leading to true excellence and relevance in theological education.”
— Justo L. González
author of The History of Theological Education
“At a time of massive changes in churches and theological schools, as well as in society generally, the twelve-book series Theological Education between the Times presents an indispensable resource. Many people, especially younger generations, question as never before the necessity of religious practice or even belonging to a congregation. In this new context, the repercussions for theological education are many: What adjustments must leaders make to maintain support? How can faculty modify programs to meet the demands of modern times? What message will attract prospective students? Astute theological educators from diverse backgrounds prayed together and engaged in conversations that contributed to the authorship of this lucid and compelling series intended for anyone concerned about the fate of religion in society.”
— Katarina Schuth, OSF
Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity
Publishers Weekly
“Provides an incisive and hopeful account of theological education’s ongoing struggle with systemic racism. . . . Theological educators, administrators, and students will find much to ponder in this trenchant volume.”
“Though Day is critical of the academy that was a space of both growth and oppression for her, her book overflows with hope for theological education to find its way to a future based in loving accountability, radical vulnerability, and proactive inclusion.”
“Theological administrators and faculty members would benefit from reading this book. Transforming our educational spaces also will benefit students who will become agents of transformation in society.”