Dr. Jonathan Tran, Associate Professor of Theology and George W. Baines Chair of Religion at Baylor University, is currently working on or has recently completed book projects in each of his three main research areas: language, race (Asian Americans and the Spirit of Capitalism, Oxford University Press 2021), and Christianity and the Promise of Politics(in a volume co-authored with Stanley Hauerwas). Originally from Southern California, Dr. Tran joined Baylor’s Religion Department in 2006 after completing graduate studies in theology and ethics at Duke University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and his research examines the theological and political implications of human life in language.
Racialized white identity no doubt exerts enormous power, but that power and its meaning are hardly unchanging and self-interpreting. In our desire to disabuse whites of power we should weary of reifying white racial identity as something that determines history without answering to it.
I interpret the questions put to my political economic approach like this: While Tran’s racial capitalist emphasis on structures and systems seems mostly correct, rightly deflating individualists/personalist (“identarian” as I say in the book) accounts of racism and accordingly moving the conversation forward, it misses something crucial.