The Womanist Idea
Routledge – 2012 – 388 pages
Following on the heels of The Womanist Reader, The Womanist Idea offers a comprehensive, systematic analysis of womanism, including a detailed discussion of the womanist worldview (cosmology, ontology, epistemology, logic, axiology, and methodology) and its implications for activism. From a womanist perspective, social and ecological change is necessarily undergirded by spirituality – as distinct from religion per se – which invokes a metaphysically informed approach to activism.
Part 1: The Metaphysical Architecture of the Womanist Idea 1. Luxocracy: Rule by Light 2. Womanist Origins: Reading Alice Walker, Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi, and Clenora Hudson-Weems 3. Womanist Worldview/Womanism as Spiritual Movement 4. Womanist Methodology: Transforming Consciousness, Changing the World 5. A Spiritual Archaeology of the Womanist Idea 6. Spiritual Activism: A Womanist Approach. Part 2: Womanist Spiritual Activism: 5 Case Studies 7. Transforming War into Peace: Sister Chan Khong and Learning True Love 8. The Alchemy of Forgiveness: Immaculée Ilibagiza and Left to Tell 9. Turning a Prison into an Ashram: Kiran Bedi and It’s Always Possible 10. Speaking Truth inside Power: Pregs Govender’s Love and Courage 11. Spiritualized Sustainability: Wangari Maathai, Unbowed, and The Green Belt Movement Part 3: Beyond Womanism 12. Witness to a Testimony: Womanist Reflections on the Life and Loss of a Daughter. Epilogue: Beyond Womanism: The Soul of the Womanist Idea
Layli Maparyan is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Associated Faculty of African American Studies at Georgia State University. In 2006 (as Layli Phillips), she published The Womanist Reader, an anthology documenting the first quarter century of womanist thought from an interdisciplinary perspective. Since 2006, she has worked collaboratively with the University of Liberia to develop its inaugural Gender Studies Program, serving as a Fulbright Specialist in 2010. In 2009, she was awarded a Contemplative Practice Fellowship by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society to study and teach womanist spiritual activism internationally.