A Better Way: Using Richard Hooker's Notion of 'Image of God' to Work Through and Past Microaggressions in the Episcopal Church
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Loren Kerns, Ph.D.
Colleen Batchelder, DMin
MaryKate Morse, Ph.D.
I claim behavior described as microaggressions can be mitigated via spiritual practices based in the virtue ethics of love of neighbor and intellectual humility. This is done using Richard Hooker's construct of the ‘image of God’, within his theological anthropology wherein the reason, will, appetite, and passions are kept in balance as they pursue perfection, understood as goodness, which is an expression of the divine and natural laws. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy methodology to identify when these elements become too great in relation to the others affecting behavior maladaptively, we can seek a "reset" via a cognitive behavioral therapy approach. Such an approach enables social perspective taking, empathy, and compassion to demonstrate love of neighbor and intellectual humility. Developing these spiritual practices can then lead to modifications in our behavior with the result that we do not intentionally exhibit microaggressions. Instead, our behavior better exhibits fruits of the Spirit and can foster deepened relationships. These phenomena have the potential to remind us of the ‘image of God’ in us and in others.
Knowles, Tamara J., "A Better Way: Using Richard Hooker's Notion of 'Image of God' to Work Through and Past Microaggressions in the Episcopal Church" (2022). Doctor of Ministry. 552.