Pastoral Theopoetic Care in the Presence of Inscribed Bodies

Andrew Tripp


Pastoral theopoetics beckons caregivers to attend to bodies in a way that lets bodies themselves speak. Prejudice often precludes encountering an- other and letting the other be witnessed for her wholeness, even in the midst of brokenness. In urban settings, those who have housing and eco- nomic insufficiency are nonpersons in the gaze of the crowd. Urban vio- lences of poverty, street violence, racism and sexism deface the fullness of the marginalized, when these are the very populations that the Gospels state we are to attend to and care for. Marginalized and subjugated bodies that have had violence done to them are sites for theopoetic resistance to the powers that cause violent inscriptions. Attending to these bodies is not a charitable caring for the least of these in a process that strips away agency and fosters victim mentality, but instead allows for the bodies to speak in ways that heal and reclaim dignity. 

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