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The Abuse of Power: A Theological Problem [Paperback]

By James Newton Poling (Author)
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Item description for The Abuse of Power: A Theological Problem by James Newton Poling...

Overview
Pastoral care instruction and observation from a therapist of survivors of sexual abuse. "The Abuse of Power is 'must' reading for clergy and denominational officials.... Weaving case stories with theory, Poling demonstrates that sexual abuse of children is not a private matter, but very much a matter for society and church--a question of structure and ideology, not just of individual character. He is not afraid to tackle the tough question: Does the image of God sacrificing Jesus on the cross contribute to abusive parent-child relationships?...If pastors and church officials read this book the church will change." --Karen Lebacqz, Pacific School of Religion "For the exploitation of women and children to stop, men must be willing to break ranks with all forms of privilege that sanction male dominance. James Poling does so by deconstructing his own sense of male entitlement, by refusing to distance himself from perpetrators, by allowing survivors of sexual and domestic violence to speak with their own voices, by giving us profound words of hope, and by articulating a powerfully healing theology wrought through the depths of his own struggle with one of the worst evils in our society. His courageous and compassionate work reveals the love and hope that is born of solidarity across the boundaries of gender, sexual orientation, race, and economics....The psychological, political, spiritual, and theological power of this book is such that all educators, ministers, therapists, and Christians must read it." --Rita Nakashima Brock, Hamline University

Publishers Description

Pastoral care instruction and observation from a therapist of survivors of sexual abuse.

"The Abuse of Power is 'must' reading for clergy and denominational officials.... Weaving case stories with theory, Poling demonstrates that sexual abuse of children is not a private matter, but very much a matter for society and church--a question of structure and ideology, not just of individual character. He is not afraid to tackle the tough question: Does the image of God sacrificing Jesus on the cross contribute to abusive parent-child relationships?...If pastors and church officials read this book the church will change." --Karen Lebacqz, Pacific School of Religion

"For the exploitation of women and children to stop, men must be willing to break ranks with all forms of privilege that sanction male dominance. James Poling does so by deconstructing his own sense of male entitlement, by refusing to distance himself from perpetrators, by allowing survivors of sexual and domestic violence to speak with their own voices, by giving us profound words of hope, and by articulating a powerfully healing theology wrought through the depths of his own struggle with one of the worst evils in our society. His courageous and compassionate work reveals the love and hope that is born of solidarity across the boundaries of gender, sexual orientation, race, and economics....The psychological, political, spiritual, and theological power of this book is such that all educators, ministers, therapists, and Christians must read it." --Rita Nakashima Brock, Hamline University

Chapter titles are: 1. Hearing the Silenced Voices 2. Power and Abuse of Power 3. "Karen": Survivor of Sexual Violence 4. Stories of Recovering Perpetrators 5. The Schreber Case: Methods of Analysis 6. The Search for Self 7. The Search for Community 8. The Search for God 9. Ministry Practice and Practical Theology

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   228
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 5.96" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1991
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687006848  
ISBN13  9780687006847  


Availability  147 units.
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More About James Newton Poling


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James Newton Poling is professor of pastoral care, counseling, and theology, and director of the Ph.D. program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois.

James Newton Poling currently resides in Evanston, in the state of Illinois. James Newton Poling was born in 1942.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Marriage & Family
3Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Relationships > Dysfunctional Relationships
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about The Abuse of Power: A Theological Problem?

Toward "the true God of love" in ministry and theology  Apr 25, 2000
James Poling, both a practical theologian teaching in a seminary and a pastoral counselor who works with survivors of sexual abuse and perpetrators, has made an important pastoral theological contribution with his book The Abuse of Power. Drawing together process theology, psychoanalytic theory, and feminist and African-American sociology and theology Poling brings forward and interprets personal (often silenced) experiences of sexual violence. Through his own pastoral counseling experiences and his subsequent research, his consciousness has been raised about the influences of gender, race, and class on the perpetration of sexual violence, and this is the driving force of The Abuse of Power. He seeks to shed light on the reality of sexual violence in its most common occurrence in the lives of women and children, particularly in the home or with trusted adults. He examines theories of self, community, and God through the lenses of feminist and African-American theorists to expose oppressive gendered and raced biases, tentatively suggesting reasons for the predominance of male sexual violence against women vis-a-vis each of these areas. He is a practical theologian, and his theorizing is penultimately in the service of better ministry and God-talk (ultimately seeking a more just and humane world, visualized as a web of inter-related beings). Consequently, he makes liberatory suggestions of change in visions of self, community, and God that would work toward relational selves, loving communities, and images of a loving and just God -- suggestions that emerge from the experiences of survivors of sexual violence. Poling's book exemplifies his own definition of practical theology, which involves a "rhythm of practice and reflection," or theological reflection that emerges from actual ministry practices or experiences in the church -- in this case, survivors of sexual violence -- and is done in their service. Poling includes in the book a discussion of his own social location (white, male, privileged, with power), his own kind of conversion on these issues through his work with survivors and perpetrators, and ways he seeks to be accountable in terms of gender, race, and power. Moreover, he writes clearly about how this research influenced him to change the way he thinks about and does theology, yielding a new definition of practical theology that privileges "the unheard voices of personal and community life for the purpose of continual transformation of faith in the true God of love and power." This is an important book particularly for ministers, teachers, and pastoral counselors who seek to understand the prevalence of sexual violence, its influence, and new ways to think critically about it.
 

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