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Episode Summary

Part 3 of 4 in our 2023 Advent Series. Stacey Floyd-Thomas presents a vision of Black joy—which the world can't give and the world can't take away. Looking into several depictions of female agency in the Gospels, she outlines a picture of joy that celebrates beauty, redemptive self-love, virtuous pride, and critical engagement with the world. Then Willie James Jennings offers a definition of joy as an act of resistance against despair and its forces that lead to death. He presents a creative, communal joy characterized by fullness, connected to but transcending grief and sorrow.

Episode Notes

Help the Yale Center for Faith & Culture meet a $10,000 matching challenge for podcast production; click here to donate today.

Part 3 of 4 in our 2023 Advent Series. Stacey Floyd-Thomas presents a vision of Black joy—which the world can't give and the world can't take away. Looking into several depictions of female agency in the Gospels, she outlines a picture of joy that celebrates beauty, redemptive self-love, virtuous pride, and critical engagement with the world. Then Willie James Jennings offers a definition of joy as an act of resistance against despair and its forces that lead to death. He presents a creative, communal joy characterized by fullness, connected to but transcending grief and sorrow.

Show Notes

  • Help the Yale Center for Faith & Culture meet a $10,000 matching challenge for podcast production; click here to donate today.
  • Macie Bridge and Evan Rosa introduce the episode
  • Stacey Floyd-Thomas explains Black joy
  • "This Joy That I Have"
  • "The world didn't give it / the world can't take it away."
  • Beauty and Blackness
  • Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye
  • Womanist Theology
  • Radical subjectivity
  • Communitarian
  • Redemptive self-love
  • Critical engagement
  • Female agency in the Gospels
  • Mary and Jesus at the Wedding in Cana
  • Mary and Martha
  • Syro-Phoenician Woman
  • Willie James Jennings defines joy—"an act of resistance against despair"
  • "Resisting all the ways in which life can be strangled and presented to us as not worth living"
  • Singing a song in a strange land
  • Making productive use of pain, suffering, and the absurd—taking them serious
  • How does one cultivate joy? You have to have people who can show you how to sing a song in a strand land, laugh where all you want to do is cry, and how to ride the winds of chaos.
  • "In contexts where your energies have to be focused on survival, it doesn’t leave a lot of energy for overt forms of complaint—you’re spending a lot of energy just trying to hold it together."
  • The commercialization of joy in the empire of advertising—contrasting that with the peoples serious work of joy
  • The work and skill of making something beautiful out of what has been thrown away
  • Segregated joy—joy in African diaspora communities
  • Joy is always embedded in community logics
  • The Christological center of joy
  • Pentecost joy—joy together
  • Geographies of joy: Christians tend not to think spatially, but we should
  • Public rituals bound to real space
  • Hoping for joyous infection, where the space has claimed you as its own
  • Where can joy be found? The church, the hospital room, the barber shop and beauty shops—“things are going to be better"

Production Notes

  • This podcast featured Stacey Floyd-Thomas and Willie James Jennings
  • Edited and Produced by Evan Rosa
  • Hosted by Evan Rosa
  • Production Assistance by Macie Bridge
  • A Production of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture at Yale Divinity School https://faith.yale.edu/about
  • Support For the Life of the World podcast by giving to the Yale Center for Faith & Culture: https://faith.yale.edu/give

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