Pastors are often ill-equipped in preparing churches to be sacred advocates and activists in the communities most affected by social injustice and neglect. Sacred Anthropology aims to inform and equip pastors in discipling the body of Christ to effect social transformation in times of social crisis.
Tyshawn Gardner envisions the pastor as a "sacred anthropologist," as one who understands the cultures of other image-bearers for the sake of promoting the justice of God in the world. As a pastoral mandate, the sacred anthropologist challenges churches to be engaged in the political and social transformation of their community. The social anthropologist employs both secular and theological tools for an effective contextualized ministry. This book posits prophetic radicalism as a pastoral theology and the pastoral office as the center of prophetic radicalism, yet it does not limit prophetic radicalism to the pastoral office.
Sacred Anthropology is written with pastors and parishioners from any ethnic group in mind but draws heavily on the prophetic pastoral and preaching tradition of African American pastors and churches. Using this foundation and tradition, sacred anthropologists can lead their congregations in a way that challenges them to be involved, engaged, and transformative.
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About the Author
Tyshawn Gardner serves as the senior pastor of Plum Grove Baptist Church and as the vice president for student affairs at Stillman College, both in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and at the University of Alabama.
Table of Contents
1. The Sacred Anthropologist: Interpreting Canon, Congregation, and Crisis
2. Old Scars, New Wounds: Suffering as Spirituality for Prophetic Radicalism
3. The Tools and Theology of the Sacred Anthropologist
4. Social Crisis Preaching: A Rhetoric of Resistance
5. Prophetic Praxis for Radical Youth Ministry
6. Pastoral Self Care: Rest for the Weary Radical