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The Spiritual Lives of Young African Americans$
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Almeda Wright

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190664732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190664732.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Spiritual Lives of Young African Americans

Almeda M. Wright

Oxford University Press

Young African Americans regularly experience racism, poverty, sexism, violence, and other affronts to their humanity. Though they are often highly active and vocal contributors to their churches, schools, and neighborhood communities, they are often silent about the possibility of God working to address the injustices in their lives. The disconnection between the issues young people face, their community involvement, and their conceptions of God point toward the pervasiveness of “fragmented” spirituality among African American youth. Spiritual fragmentation does not necessarily inhibit healthy development or functioning. However, the African American community and church are at risk if they fail to challenge the myth that the personal and the communal or the spiritual and political are in fact disconnected. But why are African American Christian adolescents experiencing spiritual fragmentation? Is spiritual fragmentation symptomatic of an irreparable chasm between the Black church and Black youth? Or are there other factors at play?

Keywords:   African American youth, fragmented spirituality, practical theological method, silence, integrating spirituality, Evelyn Parker, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz

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