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African American Quilting and the Art of Being Human: Theological Aesthetics and Womanist Theological Anthropology

Jeania Ree V. Moore

In her collection In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983), Alice Walker explores how African American women preserved and passed down a heritage of creativity and beauty in spite of brutality. I argue in this essay that African American quilting forms a revelatory subject for the womanist project taken up by theologians. As both symbol for and implementation of the creative practice Walker heralds, quilting unearths aesthetics as vital to being human. Theologically rendered, quilting unfolds theological aesthetics for and with womanist theological anthropology. Theologically engaging historical, literary, and personal narrative, I show how womanism and quilting enrich theological conceptions of aesthetics and personhood.

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