Open Friendship in a Closed Society: Mission Mississippi and a Theology of Friendship
University of Virginia
Mission Mississippi, founded in 1991, is the largest model of intentional ecumenical church-based racial reconciliation work in the United States today. To their critics, Mission Mississippi’s emphasis on relationship building between individuals seems to ignore forces that perpetuate systemic issues of injustice in a racialized society. Mission Mississippi claims to improve race relations in the state, and insists this success rests on their Christian call to reconciliation with their fellow believers and in corporate inter-racial intercessory prayer. This dissertation brings an account of the faith and practices of these Mississippi Christians into dialogue with the theologies of Jürgen Moltmann, Miroslav Volf and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This dialogue develops a particular Christian understanding of open friendship challenging the hierarchical and segregated closed friendships of churches in Mississippi. This work places theological resources at the disposal of participants in Mission Mississippi to enrich their continuing faith-based engagement with the life of their communities and state; it also offers insight into a significant movement within the Church in the United States.
No report available for this grant.
|University of Virginia||Open Friendship in a Closed Society: Mission Mississippi and a Theology of Friendship||2006||Dissertation||Peter Slade||Author||