AuthorDelarosa, Brooke A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAs a person of faith, I hold it to be true that my Christian beliefs should inform every area of my life, extending outside my personal relationships to include how I view the various facets of society. This holistic view of faith implies that social justice and the Church are inherently interconnected and is the ground for which I will be examining social justice and the Church. The primary goal of this research is to better understand the current landscape of the protestant church in relation to social justice through exploring individuals’ understandings of social justice, the learning environments within the church, and the church’s engagement in the community. Based on this information, the secondary goal is developing recommendations for how churches can move towards social justice in both education and action. My desire to seek social justice began as a child, even before I had the understanding to identify it as such. Since I was young, I have had natural abilities to care for others and be compelled to compassion. I took it upon myself throughout middle and high school to learn about issues of slavery, trafficking, and human rights violations. It only seemed natural that these were pressing issues that I should care about and felt strongly that others should care about these issues too. As I grew in my faith, it was clear to me the connection between the Bible’s command to love one another and the various injustices in my community and around the world. The need for the Church to actively engage in these issues was obvious. However, I quickly realized that for the majority of Church congregants, social justice is a multifaceted topic, often wrapped up in politics and disconnected from the teachings of the Bible. It was hard to understand that the compassion and mercy that was natural, unavoidable, and instinctual for me could be so easily dismissed by others. I was distraught with the idea that fellow Christians, individuals with whom I share the same faith and presumably the same values, could have such polar views on issues that are so close to my heart. It is important for me to recognize that my natural inclination to care deeply about social issues is a unique trait of mine that is not shared by everyone. Rather than expecting others to have the same perspective as me, I must learn to understand where others are coming from and meet them where they are at. Understanding others’ perspectives is the beginning place for any real change to occur. This journey has led me to be compelled to understand the current landscape of social justice and the church, defend the call for social justice from a biblical perspective, explore how churches in my community are carrying out this call, and recommend how churches can further move towards social justice within the church and community.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Literacy, Learning and Leadership