Christology and Whiteness
What Would Jesus Do?
Edited by George Yancy
Routledge – 2013 – 222 pages
This book explores Christology through the lens of whiteness, addressing whiteness as a site of privilege and power within the specific context of Christology. It asks whether or not Jesus’ life and work offers theological, religious and ethical resources that can address the question of contemporary forms of white privilege. The text seeks to encourage ways of thinking about whiteness theologically through the mission of Jesus. In this sense, white Christians are encouraged to reflect on how their whiteness is a site of tension in relation to their theological and religious framework. A distinguished team of contributors explore key topics including the Christology of domination, different images of Jesus and the question of identification with Jesus, and the Black Jesus in the inner city.
‘How was Whiteness born? How did it acquire its sense of righteousness and divinity so as to become the invisible and global measure of "Man"? This collection answers these questions by exploring White identity as a religious identity, as an imagination that has linked itself to Jesus, the figure of a "God-Man." A fine collection that takes whiteness, critical race, and religious studies to a new place.’
- J. Kameron Carter, Duke University, USA and author of Race: A Theological Account
‘Images of Jesus and formulations of Christology have been affected by the various "colors" used to represent and sacralize matters that ultimately concern numerous social groups. The essays in this book are vital for understanding the reality and legacy of racial coloring, namely the construction of whiteness, which is intricately woven into America’s history of inequality and which continues to shroud Christianity’s potential for social transformation in America.’
- Frederick L. Ware, Howard University School of Divinity, USA
"…this is an excellent, creative resource that will disrupt and unsettle the visible, seemingly normative contours of Christology, coupled with the often invisible phenomenon of Whiteness. The book is an important milestone in the wholesale quest for a liberative Christology that is truly good news for all and not just some!"
-Anthony Reddie, Aston University, UK
Foreword Kelly Brown Douglas Introduction: Framing the Problem George Yancy 1. What Jesus Wouldn’t Do: A White Theologian Engages Whiteness Karen Teel 2. Grotesque Un/Knowing of Suffering: A White Christian Response Laurie M. Cassidy 3. Jesus Must Needs Go Through Samaria: Dis-Establishing the Mountains of Race and the Hegemony of Whiteness Cheryl Townsend Gilkes 4. The Black Church and Whiteness: Looking for Jesus in Strange Places Moni McIntyre 5. What Would Zacchaeus Do? The Case for Disidentifying with Jesus Jennifer Harvey 6. Is Christ White? Racism and Christology Rosemary Radford Ruether 7. When a White Man-God is the Truth and the Way for Black Christians Traci West 8. Who Belongs to Christ? Josiah Young 9. Upstart Messiahs, Renegade Samaritans, and Temple Exorcisms: What Can Jesus' Peasant Resistance Movement in 1st Century Palestine Teach Us About Confronting "Color-Blind" Whiteness Today? James W. Perkinson 10. Jesus, Whiteness, and the Disinherited William David Hart 11. Looking Like Me?: Jesus Images, Christology, and the Limitations of Theological Blackness Anthony B. Pinn 12. The (Black) Jesus of Detroit: Reflections on Black Power and the (White) American Christ M. Shawn Copeland 13. The Mimesis of Salvation and Dissimilitude in the Scandalous Gospel of Jesus Victor Anderson
George Yancy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University, USA. His books include Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race (2008).