Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Disrupting White Supremacy from Within: White People on What We Need to Do

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Disrupting White Supremacy from Within: White People on What We Need to Do

Article excerpt

Disrupting White Supremacy from Within: White People on What We Need to Do. Edited by Jennifer Harvey, Karen A. Case, and Robin Hawley Gorsline. Cleveland, Ohio: Pilgrim Press, 2004. 287pp. $30.00 (paper).

Disrupting White Supremacy jknn Within addresses a largely denied cultural reality that also shapes religious life in many ways. The book is a striking analysis of this system and offers strategies to address it, challenging all those clothed by the Census Bureau as "White or Caucasian," especially if part of a faith-based community.

The editors accepted the challenge presented by James Cone to a 2001 conference of the American Academy of Religion. Each editor holds a doctorate from Union Theological Seminary, and their chapters are augmented by six other theologians and one sociologist. Dwight Hopldns of the University of Chicago Divinity School summarizes the book's impact: It surfaces "the truth that the humanity of white sisters and brothers lies in the humanity of people of color," and that "segments of the white academy and church have the resources internal to themselves to change the structures and soul of white supremacy" (Foreword, p. vii.)

Karin Case (chap. 2), a pastor in Boston, analyzes the impact of white social location on our consciousness and the urgency of breaking free. Partly, this entails what Anna Marie Vigen (chap. 8) calls a "white ethic of listening." One conclusion, for New York pastor Jennifer Harvey (chap. 3), is that "reparation becomes an unavoidable moral imperative" (p. 95), including "economic, social, and political response, redress, and repair" (p. 112). White churches, Case points out, need to "become sites of liberation and change" (p. 88).

Other writers explore how class overlays race in American expectations and evaluations; the relationship of white supremacy to male dominance; the co-constitutive character of the various systems of oppression; how, even in justice work, Christians often reflect white supremacist assumptions; and strengths and weaknesses of different forms of multicultural education. …

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