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Denison Journal of Religion

Abstract

Emily Peecook links the story of Hagar to African-American slave women in the antebellum, and the community of African-American women who continue to fight for their rights today. The narrative of Hagar is one with which African-American women have long identified. Hagar's story is rife with abuses that were very familiar to slave women during the antebellum. Both were used as sexual and maternal surrogates, and both were deprived of supportive men in their life"be it a father or a husband. Hagar's survival through the many difficulties she faced has made her an inspirational figure to the community of African American women. The theology most clearly identified with Hagar is, however, not liberation theology, but survival theology. This notion, popularized by Delores Williams, claims not that one should anticipate God's victory over oppression, but rather that one can find continued strength in God to work towards a personal victory over oppression. The author claims that this theology, which can trace its roots back to Hagar's story, serves as an inspiration to African-American women today who continue to find the strength to fight for a higher quality of life.

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