A Community Text Arises (Beverly J. Moss)
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Title: A Community Text Arises
Sub-title: A Literate Text and a Literacy Tradition in African-American Churches
Author(s): Beverly J. Moss, The Ohio State University
Publish Date: 2003
|A Community Text Arises emerges from an ethnographic study of literacy in three African-American churches. These data illuminate the ways that the primary model of a literate text is shaped and used in African-American churches. Chapter 1 examines how the African-American church has operated as a community within the larger African-American communities. As a result, this chapter provides a historical, sociological, and theological perspective on African-American churches and an overview of the major components of the church community. Chapter 2 introduces, through ethnographic descriptions, the churches that the authors studies and Chapter 3 highlights the features of the major literacy event and text in African-American churches—the sermon. Through close analysis of individual sermons the author illustrates how the sermon functions as a community text. Chapter 4 focuses solely on the sermons of one minister to highlight rhetorical strategies that are used to create and main community identity. The analysis in chapters 3 and 4 provides a view of a text that calls into question traditionally held notions of text inside and outside the community. Therefore, chapter 5 deals with the implications of this study for how text is defined and the relation between oral and written texts.