In 'Breaking the Fine Rain of Death', Emilie Townes focuses on the health care issues affecting African Americans and does so from a womanist perspective by paying attention to race and class as well as gender. Townes describes the lamentable history of health care in African American communities and the disease that affect African Americans disproportionately -- diabetes, hypertension, low-birthrate babies, and drug-related illnesses--as well as cultural, genetic, and socio-economic factors that account for them. Townes then offers models of care that have worked in some African American communities and that need to be used on a broader scale. She explores healing models sensitive to class and cultural context, and provides practical recommendations relevant to the needs of the Black Church and the African American community. Emilie Townes's 'Breaking the Fire Rain of Death' is an excellent study of African American health issues. Here analysis is both historical and contemporary and focuses on 'caring and hope' as we search for ways to establish justice in our unjust care system. I strongly recommend this book. -- James H. Cone Briggs Distinguished Professor Union Theological Seminary Professor Emilie Townes has produced a seminal work that closes the gap between town and gown with her much-needed contribution to empowering local churches to move from theology to praxis in health care. She also closes the mythological gap between soul and body by lucidly articulating a correct biblical concept of holistic health. Dr. Townes employs her interdisciplinary expertise in Bible, theology, ethics, sociology, and public health issues no only to diagnose the nature of our health care crisis but to offer prescriptions for pastors and lay leaders who are searching for answers. To God be the glory for the womanist scholarship of Emilie Townes, which help to make life more human at the dawn of the twenty-first century. -- J. Alfred Smith, Sr. Senior Pastor Allen Temple Baptist Church Oakland, California Emilie M. Townes is the first Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale University Divinity School. She is the former Carolyne Williams Beaird Professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Townes is the author of 'Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope' and 'In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness'. She is also the editor of A Troubling in My Soul: Womanist Perspectives on Evil and Suffering and Embracing the Spirit: Womanist Perspectives on Hope, Salvation, and Transformation. In 2005, Townes became the first African American woman elected vice president of the American Academy of Religion. She will assume its presidency in 2008.