In Wounds of the Spirit, Traci West employs first person accounts-from slave narratives to contemporary interviews to Tina Turner's autobiography-to document a historical legacy of violence against black women in the United States. West, a black feminist Christian ethicist, situates spiritual matters within a discussion of the psycho-social impact of intimate assault against African American women.
Distinctive for its treatment of the role of the church in response to violence against African American women, the book identifies specific social mechanisms which contribute to the reproduction of intimate violence. West insists that cultural beliefs as well as institutional practices must be altered if we are to combat the reproduction of violence, and suggests methods of resistance which can be utilized by victim-survivors, those in the helping professions, and the church.
Interrogating the dynamics of black women's experiences of emotional and spiritual trauma through the diverse disciplines of psychology, sociology, and theology, this important work will be of interest and practical use to those in women's studies, African American studies, Christian ethics, feminist and womanist theology, women's health, family counseling, and pastoral care.
"Wounds of the Spirit is a complex book about a complex and difficult topic."