Melissa Browning, Ph.D.
Atlanta, Georgia USA

Melissa Browning is a theologian, ethicist, and activist who studies congregational and community-based responses to injustice. Melissa teaches at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University where she is the Assistant Professor of Contextual Ministry. For the past 17 years Melissa’s study and fieldwork has been tied to East Africa. Her recent book, "Risky Marriage: HIV and Intimate Relationships in Tanzania," builds on a year of fieldwork completed in Mwanza, Tanzania where women were asked to re-imagine Christian marriage as a space of safety and health for women. Melissa is also active in death penalty abolitionist work in Georgia and is an ordained Baptist minister.

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General

Blogging on Ethics in Public Spaces

By on August 13, 2010
                                                                                                             Picture from an IDP camp outside of Nairobi, Kenya

Picture from an IDP camp outside of Nairobi, Kenya

After a summer of flying around the globe for this and that, I’m glad to announce that I’m back at home, in the US, with fast, fast internet. So, my hiatus from blogging (which was all too infrequent to begin with) is now over. In fact, I’ve even redesigned the blog and am promising myself I’ll be here once a week to ramble about what it means to do ethics in public spaces. On this site, I’ll be tackling different subjects as they come up and sharing what I’m learning from others. The first installment will come this Monday – as soon as I figure out what to write about. I hope you’ll journey with me, and contribute when you’ve got something to say. (Guest bloggers are always welcome!)

On another note – I should probably officially apologize for making fun of Twitter all these years. I gave in and finally joined the Twittering-world today. As soon as I figure out how to speak in 140 characters or less, I’ll be tweeting @imaginejustice. I swear I’ll never tell you what I’m eating for breakfast or that I’m shopping for lettuce.

While I’m introducing the new blog, I’ll share a quote – one of my favorite – that I’m using as a bit of inspiration for the site:

Injustice flourishes because those who love justice are singularly lacking in creativity, content to denounce the structures we see causing harm, inept in producing other forms of art, other economic structures, other political systems. – Sharon Welch

This quote is from Sharon Welch’s book, After Empire (p. 19). The book is an amazing read – this is one of the many quotes I have underlined in my copy. So often we look at the world and see something that is unjust but are helpless to imagine anything different. We too often think inside boxes and re-quote what we’ve always heard rather than imagining something new. As a Christian ethicist, I think and live within a faith tradition rooted in creation, a space where God breathed something new into a spaceless void. I think this is the task of faith and the task of ethics. Abraham Joshua Heschel called it being “co-creators with God.” This is the work of justice – to imagine something new – to not only denounce, but to creatively imagine.

So here, in this small space, I invite you to imagine with me…

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