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Denison Journal of Religion

Abstract

Roeck uses her experiences in the Appalachian Service Project to serve as a springboard of her reflection on the question of what it means to be a Christian in an economically stratified world. She argues for religion as a source that can help to transform and re-stabilize society into one more suited to providing for all.

Roeck reflects on Berger's theory of world-building to show that religion can be used as a springboard for social change. According to Berger, society is created through human construction and the world that humanity constructs defines societal interactions. While Roeck acknowledges that this might be disheartening when one considers the current society, she chooses to view it inspirationally: humanity has the full power to create a new, more just society. She claims religion can play a large role in this construction, because religion offers legitimacy to other institutions through its link to sacred reality.

Roeck chooses to see liberation theology as an example of religion taking this lead and constructing a new society that defines faith in the love of God and neighbor, and finds God in community. This theology, with its critical reflection upon action, empowers humanity with the ability to reconstruct the world in a way that would bridge the economic divide that is so obvious in the Appalachian Mountains.

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