For the past fifteen years, James Newton Poling has been the leading theologian and pastoral counselor dealing with issues of male violence, working with perpetrators and those recovering from the cycle of violence. In this book, he presents for the first time a full analysis of the problem of male violence and the range of strategies to respond to and prevent the violence. Poling proposes an understanding of male violence in the context of historical and social factors, including the complexities of racial and economic dynamics. He builds on his early work in theological ethics in order to show how pastors can respond to perpetrators and help them prevent their abusive behavior.
Poling calls us all to resist violence and to participate in the work of bringing about a just world that moves beyond the epidemic patterns of domestic and sexual violence. He challenges us to hear the many silenced voices and to tell the truth about these painful issues. He grapples with the dilemma of forgiveness that often jeopardizes the most vulnerable members of our communities. Poling calls on the church to become involved through their practices and preaching in proclaiming the wrongness of abuse and violence and the need for justice, help, and care. Throughsample sermons, worship services, and other resources for ministry, he encourages church to preach, worship, witness, and counsel in ways that heal the violence in our midst.
James Newton Poling is professor of pastoral care, counseling, and theology, and director of the Ph.D. program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois.
"Poling has worked for almost twenty years to counter the unfortunately enduring problem of male violence and, most importantly, religion's troubling role in perpetuating it. Not content with mere description or theological rumination, he presses on to understand the causes and the ways to prevent and limit violence." "Jim Poling has provided a rich variety of perspectives on male violence. He includes gender, race, class, and cultural analyses as he looks at male violence through the lenses of theology, scripture, ethics, sociology, and psychology. He allows the voices of survivors, perpetrators, and ministers to speak through his work. The ultimate point of these thorough analyses is the enrichment of pastoral practice--especially preaching, worship, and pastoral care."