Results tagged “Race” from Reformation21

Race and the American Church 6: Lynching, Violence & White Supremacy

Article by   August 2015
Americans also supported a physical degradation of African Americans largely through the practice of illegal lynching, which was a heinous and unspeakably violent activity that also violated the rights to due process, guaranteed under the constitution, of African American citizens. Historian Ed Blum has written recently about the degradation of African American bodies over time in U.S. history over at the Journal of Southern Religion, where he reflected on Don Mathews' piece on southern religion and the spectacle of lynching. Dr. Don Mathews is one of the finest historians of southern religion in America and his Religion in the Old South is required reading for anyone in the field. Fifteen years ago, he wrote a piece called "The Southern Rite of Human Sacrifice", which was both brilliant and brave. It connected the religion of the South (Christianity), something meant to be transcendent, with something incredibly violent: human sacrifice through lynching. According to Mathews, not only were Christians in the South complicit in this practice, but the way they practiced their religion (in segregation and proclaiming that "whiteness" was good and Godly while "blackness" was evil) might have sparked and even buttressed the practice of lynching in the South continue

Race and the American Church-Part VI-Sin, Slavery, Silence and 'Separate but Equal'

Article by   August 2015
Before reading this article, please consider reading through the first five pieces as this article is best understood in the context of the others and reading the first five articles will enhance your reading of this one as each article builds on the previous one. Article five focused on the institution of slavery and how race as a social construct affected American Christians from 1620-1860 as they justified the institution of slavery and the mistreatment of African people whom they viewed largely as a sub-human species. My friend and colleague Dr. Miles Smith has expounded on this idea in the minds of antebellum southern Christians through a recent post here. continue

Race and the American Church - Part V

Article by   July 2015
One way to think about race as a social construct is how the Belgian government socially constructed race in Rwanda during European colonialism in the early nineteenth century. The Belgian's believed that taller, lighter skinned Rwandans (called Tutsis) with more European features, occupied a privileged position under Belgian Colonialism. Therefore, colonial power brokers made racial distinctions between Tutsis and Hutus a cultural and economic reality. The Hutus tended to be shorter than Tutsis and had darker skin. Thus the Belgian government created a social construct along racial lines that fomented racial division, hatred and eventually genocide among the people of Rwanda. Hutus and Tutsis were given identification cards and Tutsis in Rwanda enjoyed the best positions in society and the best jobs as a more privileged minority. continue

Presbyterians and the Political Theology of Race: Part 2 [Old Testament Politics]

Article by   July 2015
In Part 1 of this series I observed that southern Presbyterian defenders of segregation emphasized the Old Testament as the authority for biblical norms regarding race over against the more New Testament oriented arguments of their opponents in the civil rights movement. The most prominent version of the southern Presbyterian argument was not the caricatured appeal to the mark of Cain, let alone to the curse of Ham, as we might like to imagine. It was much more sophisticated than that. It usually ran something like this: continue

Presbyterians and the Political Theology of Race: [Part 1] - Cultural Captivity?

Article by   June 2015
At the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5 President Obama called Christians to exercise humility in their responses to Muslim acts of terror, referencing some of the great sins of the Christian tradition. His comments provoked a sharp backlash, much of it focused on whether or not the Crusades were a cause of Islamic terrorism. But Christians were more muted in their response to the president's allusion to slavery and the oppression of Jim Crow segregation. As Anthony Bradley recently warned in a Facebook post, "Don't let your evangelical friends only talk about the Crusades... [W]ill someone clarify the Trail of Tears, slavery, and Jim Crow, and so on for us?" continue

Race and the American Church - Part IV

Article by   June 2015
I began graduate study in history in the summer of 2006. I was ecstatic to be home and I was also excited because I obtained a graduate assistantship working at the Avery Center for African American History and Culture. Not only would I learn more about my own research, but I would learn, or re-learn, the history of Charleston, SC through the lens of the African American experience. As part of my assistantship I helped process archival collections and I gave tours to visitors who came to Charleston from all across the United States. You must understand, many of these groups were reunion groups, church tours and families (most of whom were African American). The director of the center placed me at the front desk so the first thing these folks saw when they walked in "THE" Center for African American History and Culture in Charleston was a bow-tie clad white man named Otis. It usually took people the better part of an hour to process this. continue

A Lament for Charleston

Article by   June 2015
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Please know that as I write this it is with an incredibly heavy heart and a heart still deep in mourning. Yesterday I spent the entire day in lament, with my brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer at a historic African American congregation in Jackson, MS (Mt. Helm Baptist Church) and then had a healing time processing these events with my brothers Carl Ellis, Mike Higgins and Jemar Tisby on the Reformed African American Network's podcast called Pass the Mic. You can check that out here. continue

Results tagged “Race” from Reformation21 Blog

A Historic Framework for Social Responsibility

Article by   August 2017
How shall the church think about social issues of race, justice and power? It is increasingly popular for these issues to be framed and discussed in the church using the categories of social justice and racial privilege as defined... continue

The Intricacies of Interracial Marriage

Article by   April 2017
In light of current discussions regarding racial reconciliation, we thought that it might be a benefit to our readers to run a series of videos from a longtime contributor, Rob Ventura, and his wife, Vanessa, concerning a variety of subjects... continue

Longing for a Multi-Ethnic Church

Article by   July 2016
If Charlotte's Web were real, Charlotte might have written the following about the events of last week: "SOME WEEK!" "HORRIFIC" "DEVIANT" "HUMBLING". Two young black men shot dead by police officers, one in my home town of Baton Rouge.... continue

Race and the Roots of the Presbyterian Church in America, no. 1

Article by   February 2015
Over at Justin Taylor's blog at the Gospel Coalition, I contributed to a historians' forum that sought to answer certain questions on southern evangelicals and their failures on Civil Rights. My answer particular focused on southern Presbyterian conservatives, many of... continue

#FergusonDecision and the Lord's Supper: A Plea to African-Americans

Article by   November 2014
According to some sources, Officer Darren Wilson could have been indicted with one of several crimes (e.g., first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, or others) for killing an unarmed African-American young man. Many around the world were quite... continue
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