OAKLAND, CA - A proficient student of Religion and Theology, and teacher of such topic courses as Mysticism and Social Change, Spirituality and Transformative Learning, and Theater Arts, Woody Carter, Ph.D. introduces his debut literary offering Theology for a Violent Age: Religious Beliefs Crippling African American Youth, an abundantly illustrative book that uncovers and examines the negative black images found in African-American dramas - dominant images such as black folk as victims, negative images of self and community, internalized shame, a deeply rooted rage, and a persistent crisis in identity or sense of self. It provides evidence that the negative images found in black plays remain present in African-America life and culture, today. Not only in the African-American underclass, but also in black middle-class households that for many are holding on by a thread.
The fact that black folk have embraced this distortion, this negation of black images by white America (notwithstanding the election of President Barak Obama), and made them their own reality demonstrates the degree to which people of African descent have been victimized or colonized by a dominant Euro-American worldview. These images serve as clues or keys that challenge African-Americans to critically examine and understand those elements within black culture that must be addressed in any attempt to heal, strengthen, and renew the African-American family living in this violent age. And one area of black life and culture this book explores is the extent to which black religion is crippling African- American youth.
When explaining the ideology behind his book, Dr. Carter states, "To know a people, their culture and the forces that shape them, look at their art forms. To understand how a people live in the world, to see through the lens of a race, to perceive and comprehend their world, look at their arts forms." He continues, "Art is the primary source material that reflects a people's ethos and collective psyche. Art mirrors what a people say about themselves, and in the reflection one catches a glimpse of their collective unconscious. "
Dr. Wade W. Nobles, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University said, "All Black thinkers, from intellectuals and scholars to teachers, preachers and parents to mental health workers, futurists and community activists ... will find Theology for a Violent Age informative, insightful, and a strong provocation and challenge for the reader to continue to seek the core essence of being Black and the searchlights necessary to envision our full humanity as more than reactions to white supremacy and racial domination and oppression. Theology for a Violent Age is deserving of a critical read and methodical application against the problems of our time."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After several years teaching theater arts including acting technique, scene study, and rehearsal and production at the African American Studio for Acting and Speech in New York City, and later at Laney Community College in Oakland, California, Dr. Carter returned to complete doctoral work in the area of Religion, Theology, and the Arts at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, California, and graduated with a Ph.D. in 1994 with a focus on African American Narrative Theology.
Since then, Carter has been a core faculty member in the Bachelors of Arts Completion Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco, and has taught special topic courses in Mysticism and Social Change, Spirituality and Transformative Learning, and Oral History Production as Applied Theology. He also holds a Master's Degree in Theater Arts from City College of New York, and an undergraduate degree from his parents' Alma mater–Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Since 1997, Carter has served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Bay Area Black United Fund, Inc. (BABUF) in Oakland, California, whose mission is to engage the African-American community to improve wellness through philanthropy and the promotion of health lifestyles.