The Wounds Are the Witness

Black Faith Weaving Memory into Justice and Healing

The Wounds Are the Witness

Black Faith Weaving Memory into Justice and Healing

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Available February 4, 2025

From celebrated scholar Dr. Yolanda Pierce comes this indelible meditation on Black faith, suffering, hope, and the healing possibilities of justice, written in the venerable tradition of James Cone and Kelly Brown Douglas.

What do we do with wounds--our own, others', and a nation's? We can turn away, avert our gaze. We can make a spectacle of suffering. Or like the doubting disciple who longed to touch Jesus's side, we can acquaint ourselves with the wounds: both the story they tell and the healing they prefigure.

In The Wounds Are the Witness, Yolanda Pierce, dean of Vanderbilt University Divinity School and author of In My Grandmother's House, weaves together her own memories, vignettes from Black life, and scenes from scripture, especially the passion of Christ. To work for liberation in a broken world, we cannot look away from crucified flesh. Bones from the Middle Passage, GI Bill benefits denied to Black veterans, women inmates shackled while giving birth: we must take all such wounds seriously. They testify to both the pain and the faith of a people.

With the lyrical eye of a poet and the moral precision of a preacher, Pierce casts readers into the astounding story of God's healing. From the curative powers of a spiderweb to the work of justice in history, politics, medicine, higher education, and the Black church, Pierce asks: Where are the remedies for the battered and broken? What does accountability look like? Is there any cure?

Healing takes time, Pierce writes, and even the wounds of the risen Christ do not immediately close. When the wounds become the witness, we find a faith reimagined and a hope transfigured. They tell the truth: about the extent of the injury and the extraordinary work of healing.

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506485331
  • eBook ISBN 9781506485348
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
  • Pages 216
  • Publication Date February 4, 2025
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