Racial identity as a source of cultural, political, and personal pride predates the North Atlantic slave trade; therefore, racial identity must be part of the calculus when articulating a theological anthropology.
The politics of identity often has Indigenous persons grappling with the dichotomy of US empire’s labels of the Native American Indian as contaminating evil or contaminated victim. For Indigenous Christians Jesus calls on us to spurn these limiting designations, to embrace the spirit of interdependent creation, which brings us back to a family of justice and life.
How can White U.S. Christians in this moment love Asian American and Pacific Islander bodies, without succumbing to the seductions of commodification and ornamentation? How can we resist the impulses to only understand Easter’s resurrection through the lens of generative suffering?
Jonah sat in the belly of an ocean beast for three days rather than face his duty to call Nineveh back to God. And Christians — especially white Christians — in this country have long been ignoring their duty to call one another to repentance.
What worries me…is the fact that Christian anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism forms the historical and theological ectoplasm out of which the invisible specter of whiteness emerges.
First, we must all remember our history and stop the blatant amnesia behind racial and power dynamics in our field…Women and enslaved persons were not a part of the founders’ initial understanding. The same is true for the founding identities of the Society of Biblical Literature.
Biblical scholars could yield profound insights into the deep and dangerous ways the Bible has been employed in the Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny. They might also have to reckon with the role of biblical scholarship in justifying imperialism.
Because whiteness lies at the center of biblical studies, the accepted way of doing biblical scholarship is one that engages white questions, white concerns. The system forces scholars of color, especially those who receive their doctoral trainings in the western educational system, to be familiar with white scholarship.
To forego a hermeneutic of charity risks abandoning a central part of the gospel, just as a lack of concern about standing in solidarity with the voiceless, the poor, and the marginalized would do.