The glimpses of injustice offered in Chapter 1 show at least a part of the rupture of justice in our world. The world inhabited by Johanna Masilela and by all of us is a world in which justice is ruptured. We live in a world in which injustice reigns.
But that is not all. The history that has produced the rupture of justice includes the history of Christianity itself. Christianity has been an instrument for the reign of injustice. What should have been a tool for the spread of love and peace and freedom in the world has been at times a tool for the spread of terror, injustice, and repression. If I am to identify with this community, to call myself a “Christian ethicist,” I cannot close my eyes to the long history of violence and injustice associated with the Christian church. The history of the Christian community, the uses and abuses of its Bible, the atrocities committed in its name are my history, my uses and abuses, and my atrocities, whether or not I like it.
And so a brief sketch of Christian complicity in the reign of injustice is in order. I offer here a glimpse of the history of Christian complicity that parallels each of the forms of injustice. Once again, the picture given here is not intended to be systematic or comprehensive. Since my focus is on forms of injustice as a base for thinking about justice, I make no effort to lift up the many ways in which Christians through the centuries have attempted to combat injustice and be a voice for justice instead. To be sure, there have always been courageous Christians who stood against the mainstream and struggled for justice in the