On 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.