Chapter 4: Roots


Here are some questions to ponder while reading Chapter 4:

1.“Honoring our ancestors is an obligation of faith”
(p. 136). Was that a lesson you learned in your culture?
Do you know much about your ancestors?

2. Butler Bass distinguishes between ancient times, when
one lived among one’s ancestors, and modern times,
when we can only partially piece together the stories of
our ancestors. She points out that “if we do not know
where we came from or where we are in a story, it is
difficult to imagine that we can understand the meaning
and purpose of our own lives” (p. 142). How are
faith communities uniquely positioned to connect to
and draw meaning from the past?

3. “Every family tree intersects with other family trees.
Our roots are intertwined. We are all related to each
other. We belong to each other” (p. 151). Have you
thought about people being so interconnected, as Butler
Bass suggests? What implications could this statement
have for race relations, political parties, and
church denominations?

4. Butler Bass quotes Archbishop Desmond Tutu as saying,
“The first law of our being is that we are set in a delicate
network of interdependence with our fellow human beings and with the rest of God’s creation” (p. 154). Do you see this belief proclaimed in our society? If so, how?
If not, how can we work to make it happen?

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