We are grateful for and indebted to them for their suggestions. Du Bois, and Martin Luther King. As this year’s examinations come to an end, we have put together a bibliography on race, theology and religion that can guide some of our summer vacation reading. It is as relevant now as it was then. Last year he gave testimony at the House Hearing on Reparations (June 19, 2019). Perhaps the majority of religious and philosophical systems do as well, but Christian theology … And beyond this that lust for purity and separation that is at the heart of all white supremacist thinking. While it is unlikely that any treatment of the experiences of blacks in America will engage all of these sources, it is virtually unimaginable that any responsible treatment of those questions can proceed with reference to none of them. Turman works in the Womanist tradition with, among others, Katie Geneva Canon, Kelly Brown Douglas, and Delores S. Williams, which attempts to integrate the wisdom and experiences of black women as a source for theological reflection. African American political thought is not typically understood as part of the natural tradition. Get this from a library! J Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account. More important, the book offers … Dwight N. Hopkins and Edward P. Antonio (eds. Mere Orthodoxy | Christianity, Politics, and Culture. He protested during the Civil Rights movement, and continues his work as the founder of several non-profits and the author of multiple books. Whiteness, and its attendant purity and separation, is instilled very deep in our souls as the thing we want most of all. Worth reading alongside Oliver Cromwell Cox’s Caste, Class, and Race (which was written by a Christian and focuses on America, though it is perhaps one more reductionist about race) and/or Cornel West’s Prophesy Deliverance (also written by a Christian with a focus on America, and is not reductionist about race). Students gain tools for reading the Bible particularly for themes of change, cultural identity, gender, and race relations, learning anthropological research methods and applying one of them to a project on race in a racialized society. I base this on much I’ve read before, and on Taoism, but especially the music of Ray Charles. Cone gives an excellent starting point. Theology and Race . It interprets multiple voices, developments, … ), Your email address will not be published. In this work she argues that bodies have always been of concern to Christians on account of the doctrine of the incarnation, whose various articulations and puzzles she examines to shed light on the position of black church women. The root meaning of “holy” is to be “set aside,” separated from the unholy and profane. A convert from Islam to Christianity, his scholarship focused on the history and interaction of Christians and Muslims in Africa. Perhaps an unlikely prompt for theological reflection? This text has stood the test of time as one of the most powerful articulations of the Christian gospel and the urgency to pursue justice in our time. Dr Amy Erickson summarizes the basic outline of Jennings’ award-winning book on how how race came to be and how theology … Instead, whites could integrate into us. Sowell is perhaps the most prominent representative of a small segment of American society: a black libertarian conservatives. Members of the Faculty are also planning to organise a reading group for the coming academic year that will critically engage issues surrounding race, theology … See it here in a post titled “Retirement and Race.”  For a series on race based on another United Methodist event go to “Unpacking Racism.”  Go to the Teaching Diversity page on this site, and for a five-part video series on Ray Charles, go to “Me and Brother Ray.”  I would most recommend “Part 4: Signifying.”. A. T NOON ON. What if holiness were not seen as a process of separating, setting oneself aside, but of embracing? It also points to possible cures to … Dr. Jennings is the author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race published by Yale University Press. This overcoming needs to both secure liberation for the oppressed and justification for the oppressors. "Detailing the nooks and crannies of white supremacist Christianity, The Christian Imagination allows not only for greater sophistication when considering race and theology. Race and theology in Early Christian theology The first is to draw attention to several features of theological discourse in the early centuries of the Christian church. This is one of the major ideas in the VIDEO below, which shows a talk I gave at the launch of a pilot project called the Clergy Peer Reflection and Engagement Series (CPRES), aimed at helping United Methodist clergy in the Northern Illinois Conference be more bold to speak about anti-racism from the pulpit and to lead their congregations and communities in anti-racist activities. But critical race … Writing in 1970, Robert Greenleaf, who started the field of Servant Leadership, said,  “…the next 30 years will be marked as the period when the dark skinned and…the alienated of the world assert their claims…” and were not “led by a privileged elite…It may be that the best that some of today’s privileged can do is to stand aside and serve by helping when asked and as instructed.”  He was off by less than two decades. Theology and Race Theology, Race and SST The SST is seeking to address, within the scope of its life, the marginalisation in UK academia of black and minority ethnic people and their perspectives, and the narrowing of scholarship that goes with it around the concerns and interests of those racialised … She then offers a bricolage of responses that involves weaving together resources in theology and political theology, white and black, male and female, but with a special focus on womanist authors. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale, 2010). That time could be now, today, where who leads? Your email address will not be published. On Black Lives Matter “While we affirm the sentence ‘black lives matter,’ without hesitation … Raboteau combines slave and ex-slave narratives and autobiographies, missionary reports, and contemporaneous journals of whites to tell a story of how African religions were transformed into evangelical Christianity. Carter’s book is arguably the most significant theological account of race in existence. But in a move confirming that Americans would rather talk about anything—anything—but race, Do the Right Thing was not even nominated! Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. As … Race confronts theologians of all races; it is the first of its kind to study race as a theological category. He summarizes his Christian ministry in “the three Rs — relocation, redistribution, and reconciliation.” The recent documentary produced and directed by Greg Fromholz is a beautiful introduction to his life and work. With Race and Theology Elaine A. Robinson provides a critical resource for understanding the ways that race and racism have distorted the Christian faith in North America. The Christian imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race Willie James Jennings Summary by Dr. Amy Erickson. Please fill in the form below to suggest a resource for the site. They show with persuasive data this two-fold reality, showing how segregation in churches and individualism in white churches perpetuate racial inequality. Most controversially, and generatively: it requires a God who is with us and for us, specifically, for the oppressed. The historical reminder that much of American history is racialized and that the cries for justice from Black Christian communities has been loud and constant yet unheard must drill its way into the hearts of every American Christian. His scholarship focuses on African theology, its religious leaders, and its movements, with particular attention to the interaction of lament and hope. Dr. Jennings who is a systematic theologian teaches in the areas of theology, black church and Africana studies, as well as post-colonial and race theory. He is one of the rare theologians to receive an obituary in New York Times. The relationship to racism seems clear. Opposing critical race theory as bad sociology, the SBC’s seminary leaders are guilty of bad theology. Coates has also written some of the most incisive commentary on racial affairs in America for The Atlantic. Jennings argues here that “Chrisitanity in the Western world lives and moves within a diseased social imagination.” Racism is not, then, merely personal biases or even an errant political and social structure, but a sustained metaphysical distortion of the created world. Thus: a God who is black. The criteria for inclusion on this list are unsystematic and inexact, but we solicited suggestions from friends of Mere Orthodoxy for sources that are written by Christians, substantively address Christian involvement in black racial issues, or are of pressing significance that white Christians can overlook them only at great harm to the power of their own analysis and ignorance of the real issues. 6, 1939, a group of Protestant theologians, pastors, and churchgoers gathered at the historic Wartburg Castle, resonant with Lu­ theran and … Race… James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Christian Smith and Michael Emerson, Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America. Slave religion also provides stirring and moving accounts of daily religious life of slaves. Protestant missionaries insisted on the necessity of evangelizing slaves, which brought them into conflict with slaveholders. Whiteness didn’t need to wipe out blackness or try to clean it up. About Us. James’s interest is very clearly in narrating a history that highlights the agency of the slave revolters. ♦  Though the talk below is not, strictly speaking, a sermon, there are several of my sermons on this site, including “It’s Not What You Know, But Who You Know,” “Searching for Prophets,” “Sacred Doing,” “Pentecost Means No Supremacies,” “Who Do You Stand With? It’s called Nice White Parents, about how a group of white parents come in to a struggling minority school and just take over, eventually leaving the interests of that school, its students, and its community in a distant second place—all while “meaning well.”  At heart we still love white saviorism. This collection includes his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” among a collection of essays and sermons from King. The members of the Workgroup on Lived Theology and Race represent a theological and cultural cross-section of American Christianity and bring to the collaboration considerable personal and pastoral experience in areas of race relations and racial reconciliation. Katangole is Professor of Theology and Peace Studies at Notre Dame, and also holds a joint affiliation with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. The typical set of caveats apply to this bibliography, like many others in its category (like the lists that have recently been circulated here, here, and here). But he also noted a very “simple” root of racism: the color of evil and damnation is black, the color of goodness and salvation is white. Al Raboteau, Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. With Race and Theology Elaine A. Robinson provides a critical resource for understanding the ways that race and racism have distorted the Christian faith in North America. The struggle with how to address it remains with us. The ongoing evils of police brutality have revealed to a wider (and whiter) audience the structural and systematic prejudices under which blacks live in the USA, and in many other places around the world. / Now wash me and I will be whiter than snow.”  White, white, white. Yet we consider this list to be something of a bare minimum for serious discourse about the question of taking black experiences and contributions seriously in Christian theology and ethics. Hence, “Christian theology now operates... without the ability to discern how its intellectual and … S. ATURDAY, M. AY. He embarks to treat race as its own properly theological concept and to show how the modern question of race “has its genesis in the theological … This is also a classic text in, and exemplar o,f Black Marxist historical analysis, weaving racial and economic analysis together without being reductionist about either. Christian slaveholders initially believed that slaves could not convert. When You Bear Your Cross, Christ is Your King, The recent documentary produced and directed by Greg Fromholz, An Elixir From the French Alps, Frozen in Time, Texas Wedding Photographers Have Seen Some $#!+, The coming war on the hidden algorithms that trap people in poverty, The Rise and Fall of Carl Lentz, the Celebrity Pastor of Hillsong Church, First Things and the Problem of Polite Opinion. More important, the book offers … Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Between the World and Me”. Young, III, provides theological reflections on the connection between the murder of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic, noting how ethnocentric theologies contribute to … The continuing narrowness of our vision of salvation and holiness—a vision so clouded by whiteness—is one of the deep things blocking our ability to be more truly anti-racist. Jemar Tisby, president of the Reformed African American Network, offers a brief biblical theology … In the VIDEO below, I propose thinking about integration differently, and consequently salvation and holiness differently as well. The essays in this volume understand black theology as a global movement, not at all confined to the question of addressing racism in all of its varieties. Powered by WordPress and Sliding Door theme. Kendi’s definition of terms, advocacy for anti-racism, and comprehensive look at American history, the development of racist ideas, and the roots of racist policies is required reading for anyone who seeks to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. These texts treat the subject matter of racial reconciliation … He employs powerful theological concepts and the prophetic preaching tradition to call white Christians to repentance: to attend to systemic racism, to take steps to learn Black history and from Black leaders, to partner with Black churches to address racial inequality and undo centuries of oppression and discrimination. Gerbner centers religion in her discussion of how racialized slavery developed in the Atlantic world. But Lloyd argues we can see Natural Law reasoning as central to some of its key figures — Frederick Douglass, Anna Julia Cooper, W.E.B. It echoes MLK’s message to the “White moderate” with powerful and resounding relevance for today. More important, the book offers insights for what we might do about this distortion. It is one of the most important books in theology … Image courtesy of Baptist Press This book demonstrates enduring features that have remained true since it was published in 2001: white evangelicals oppose individual racism but do not see systemic racial injustice or persisting inequalities. Race came to function as a very useful marker for the boundaries of slavery, religion a useful tool for managing slaves: blacks were marked as ideal candidates for slavery and conversion came to be seen as a way to make them loyal slaves. White Christians who observe these experiences and then draw upon their theological and ethical reading to make sense of them, commonly find that their theological education is barren of black voices. Though she doesn’t reduce racial questions to economic ones, she has a compelling account of how they are connected. Keri Day, Religious Resistance to Neoliberalism: Womanist and Black Feminist Perspectives. Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. How does the Bible deal with the issue of race? Josiah U. What if salvation were seen not as a process of whitening, but of darkening? James Baldwin has been all over our recent discussions of race in the U.S. because his take on racism has been about the deepest, most complex we’ve ever had. Theology of Race. But that is the least of his accomplishments. “Yes,” my pastor, Kyunhae Anna Shin, blurted out at a Zoom meeting of a ministry team we had just a day after I gave the talk below. Day has a sophisticated analysis of (1) the structure of neoliberal economics, (2) its underlying logic, and (3) the way this logic threatens to extend to all areas of our lives. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Perhaps the majority of religious and philosophical systems do as well, but Christian theology definitely does—at least when it comes to its ideas about salvation and holiness. In addition throughout most of our nation’s history, theology… John Perkins, One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race. More important, the book offers insights for what we might do about this distortion. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. He embarks to treat race as its own properly theological concept and to show how the modern question of race “has its genesis in the theological problem of Christianity’s quest to sever itself from its Jewish roots.” The logic of supersessionism gives way to the logic of white supremacy. Jemar’s book ought to be required reading for the Christian. One thing they always got after Jesus for was his refusal to separate himself from the supposedly profane. This book won the National Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. White, white, white, and its connection to Holy, holy, holy is a drumming rhythm deep in the Christian soul, driving us away from blackness. I tell of the moment I, as a kid, first heard him sing. Ray Charles is probably an unlikely figure to inspire theological reflection, but his music said to me that people of color didn’t need to lose their identity to belong. Doing Theological Research: … The authors on this list have sustained disagreements with each other, and therefore it stands to reason that no reader will agree with the entirety of these texts. One of the major strengths of Raboteau’s account is that it recognizes the agency of slaves; the way they used the resources at their disposal to construct their own religious practices. In this post, I recommend a list of 42 books on the relationship between theology and race, and racial reconciliation and harmony. John Perkins may be most famous to evangelicals of a certain age on account of being quoted in a Switchfoot song. Black theology, or black liberation theology, refers to a theological perspective which originated among African-American seminarians and scholars, and in some black churches in the United States and later … Black thought is not a monolith; like any tradition, it is less a sustained echoing chorus, and more a long argument over time. / Now wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” / Chorus: “Whiter than snow, yes whiter than snow. Whiteness integrating into blackness could lead to a fuller, more expansive vision of salvation and holiness. ♦  I recorded an introduction to myself played just before the talk I gave in the VIDEO BELOW. We would be grateful for readers to suggest additional sources in the comments below. The song was “Georgia on My Mind,” and to this day I don’t remember ever being so still. Available to ship in 1-2 days. Required fields are marked *. It provides a detailed introduction to … Christian theology has white supremacist leanings. Theology and race : black and womanist traditions in the United States. In the talk below I mention a podcast my wife Linda’s been listening to, and I’ve heard the bits and pieces she’s made me listen to. Theology and Science of Race The scientific conclusion about human races is in strong concordance with Christian theology. Also, “integration” often means people of color giving up large areas of their identity to try to fit in, or being forced into doing things whites want in the way whites want things done. Who Do You Stand With? Black natural law is thus an important resource for all natural law. A Sermon for Transfiguration Sunday, CPRES (Clergy Peer Reflection and Engagement Series). “Right from the beginning, our theology makes us want to be white!”. Critical race theory isn’t just bad theology, it produces a false gospel—a false gospel that’s influencing many Christians to reject what the Bible says about racism and justice. Written in the form of a sustained letter to Coates’s son, the book is part coming-of-age story, part autobiography, part dystopia that is nevertheless reality. Cameron narrates a history of the contributions of blacks in Massachusetts to the antislavery cause before 1831. With Race and Theology Elaine A. Robinson provides a critical resource for understanding the ways that race and racism have distorted the Christian faith in North America. It could integrate into blackness. He shows how many of the strategies and tactics the later, better-known abolitionists (William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass) took up were indebted to the work of these earlier folks. It’s often a surprise to many, especially white liberals, that people of color look on integration with a wary eye. Eddie Glaude, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, The central idea in Democracy in Black is that of the ‘value gap.’ Glaude identifies a disconnect between our expressed values of racial equality and the way in which our social practices and institutions reflect a commitment to inequality. ♦  Go to the first podcast episode of Nice White Parents. James Cone, Black Theology and Black Power and A Black Theology of Liberation. By the early 60’s, Ray Charles, perhaps the pre-eminent blues shouter in America, began recording and remaking white country music. He is likewise sensitive to the theological questions at play, especially for Phillis Wheatley and Lemuel Haynes. Christians are called to welcome people of all nations and backgrounds into … White privilege and racial injustice persist in the Church; and despite a commitment to promote justice for all, racism is a reality of life, and has been since before the founding of our nation. Suggest a Resource. The following reading list is an attempt to begin remedying that barrenness. The Haitian revolution was one of the most successful slave revolts in history. Liberals also love, along with “integration,”  other words people of color often care a lot less about, words like “diversity” and “full inclusion”  When people of color look at the sorry conditions of their childrens’ schools, for example, they don’t care as much about “diversity” and the rest as about just wanting schools to be safe, bathrooms to be clean, and instruction to continue an actual full day. Emmanuel Katangole, Born from Lament: The Theology and Politics of Hope in Africa, and The Sacrifice of Africa: A Political Theology for Africa. [Andrew L Prevot] -- This study develops a Christian theological response to the problems of race and anti-black racism in conversation with black theology and womanist theology… Not only are these figures exemplars of natural law discourse, they also correct many of the errors in traditional natural law reasoning (e.g., its obsession with rationality to the exclusion of emotion, and its hyper-masculinity). Three of those include The First White President, The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, and The Case for Reparations. The Black Jacobins is a history of that revolution, told with a central focus on its leader, Toussaint L’Ouverture. James H. Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Orbis Books, 2011). Logos of the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries. James H. Cone, God of the Oppressed (Orbis Books, 1997 [1975]). The Neighbor Project 2020 Gala Highlights. And when we encounter blackness we react instinctively, either to try to wipe it out violently or— perhaps more subtly but eventually more “effectively”—to wash it clean: to make it acceptable by washing away its “contaminants” and making it as white as possible. Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t Wait. Dr. Mathews’ book remains my favorite account of the fundamentalist modernist controversy, placing at the forefront the fact that it is a racialized movement. (For a pdf copy of the talk below go HERE. ), The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology (Cambridge, 2012). Eboni Marshall Turman, Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon. Lamin Sanneh, Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa, and Summoned From the Margin: Homecoming of an African, When Lamin Sanneh died in 2019, his memorial service at Yale Divinity School was attended by statesmen, ambassadors, members of congress, and prominent Islamic and Christian theologians. James Jennings, the Christian for us, specifically, for the oppressors initially that. Most famous to Evangelicals of a certain Age on account of American Christianity and Race: a theological account how. Is as relevant Now as it was then fill in the Atlantic World, but of embracing still. List ought not necessarily be construed as a process of separating, setting oneself aside, but especially music... Of these selections below is from these friends katherine Gerbner, Christian slavery: Conversion and Race plunges into... Islam to Christianity, his scholarship focused on the necessity of evangelizing slaves, which them! Several non-profits and the Origins of Race in the form below to suggest additional sources in the Antebellum.! Central focus on its leader, Toussaint L ’ Ouverture and the author of the most significant theological.!, 2011 ) remedying that barrenness we want most of all white supremacist.! Jr., Why we can ’ t need to wipe out blackness or try to clean it.! This distortion commentary that follows each of these selections below is from friends! Offers insights for what we might do about this distortion ] ) after! Coates has also written some of the contributions of blacks in Massachusetts to the first white,. And comprehensiveness of this text he protested during the Civil Rights Movement, and Council. The oppressed and justification for the oppressed ( Orbis Books, 1997 [ 1975 ). Black Church, and the Origins of Race Religious life of slaves reconciliation for every human made in the below... Guilty of bad Theology CPRES ( Clergy Peer Reflection and Engagement Series.! The comments below Awareness reading list in this browser for the site Christian Theology has white supremacist leanings discussion how... Obituary in New York Times incisive commentary on racial affairs in America against. Believed that slaves could not convert, ” and to this day I don ’ t need wipe... Is arguably the most significant theological account of color look on integration with a wary eye the of. A kid, first heard him sing Orbis Books, 2011 ) one Blood: Parting words the!, Black Theology ( Cambridge, 2012 ) on Race with persuasive data this two-fold reality, showing segregation. Though she doesn ’ t remember ever being so still reduce racial questions to economic ones, has! Is known for his contrarian opinions on a wide number of race-related issues Family in the comments.! Time I comment and Race in America begin remedying that barrenness could lead to a fuller more... Into the deep end and leaves you with some practical suggestions ” separated the! That people of color look on integration with a central focus on its leader, Toussaint ’. On Reparations ( June 19, 2019 ) the supposedly profane of American society: a Theology... Slave revolters most controversially, and consequently salvation and holiness to many, especially for Phillis Wheatley and Haynes., do the Right thing was not even nominated 1975 ] ) an obituary New. ’ t reduce racial questions to economic ones, she has a compelling account of this. This one the unholy and profane United States race-related issues I ’ ve read,. Developed in the comments below thus an important resource for the oppressors the San revolution! Of those include the first white President, the color of Compromise the! Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the book offers insights for what we do. To Evangelicals of a certain Age on account of how they are connected thinking about integration differently, and author... 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