Women, Music and Faith in Central Appalachia

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Both urban Appalachian evangelical Christianity, as embodied in Appalachian women’s folk art and music, and process theology as articulated by John B. Cobb, Jr, and those he has mentored share an existentialist eschatology that emphasizes the salvific quality of individual life in the present rather than hope in the future. Process theodicy lacks a rich aesthetic, symbolic or ritual tradition through which to express these beliefs and thus is often criticized for its seeming lack of applicability to Christian life and nurture. Urban Appalachian women’s folk art and music, however, is widely celebrated for its powerful emotional impact, but its multivalent symbolism is seldom explored for theological insight. This project explores the ways in which these two marginal Christian existential theological traditions share common beliefs, articulate them in radically different ways with radically different results, and thus might learn from one another.

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Foreword; Preface; Introduction
1. Appalachian Women’s Ballads as a Narrative
2. Resource for Theodicy: Introduction to Methods
3. Livin’ City, Feelin’ Country: Appalachian Migrants in the Urban Midwest
4. Fly Pretty Bird: Appalachian Migrant Women’s Perspectives on Identity
5. Theological Perspectives on the Problems of Evil and Pain: Process Philosophers, Feminist Theologians, and Urban Appalachian Women
6. Wasn’t’ God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels: A Constructive Response to Urban Appalachian Women’s Theodicies
Bibliography; Index

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