From Racial Reconciliation to Racial Justice in Christian Evangelicalism

Book Pages: 400 Illustrations: Published: December 2019

Author: Andrea Smith

Activism, Critical Ethnic Studies, Religious Studies

In the 1990s, many Evangelical Christian organizations and church leaders began to acknowledge their long history of racism and launched efforts at becoming more inclusive of people of color. While much of this racial reconciliation movement has not directly confronted systemic racism's structural causes, there exists a smaller counter-movement within Evangelicalism, primarily led by women of color, who are actively engaged in antiracism and social justice struggles. In Unreconciled Andrea Smith examines these movements through a critical ethnic studies lens, evaluating the varying degrees to which Evangelical communities that were founded on white supremacy have addressed racism. Drawing on Evangelical publications, sermons, and organization statements, as well as ethnographic fieldwork and participation in Evangelical events, Smith shows how Evangelicalism is largely unable to effectively challenge white supremacy due to its reliance upon discourses of whiteness. At the same time, the work of progressive Evangelical women of color demonstrates that Evangelical Christianity can not only be an unexpected place in which to find theoretical critique and social justice organizing; it demonstrates how critical ethnic studies' interventions can be applied broadly across political and religious divides outside the academy.



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Andrea Smith is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, author of Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide and Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances, and coeditor of Theorizing Native Studies, all also published by Duke University Press.

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Paper: 978-1-4780-0640-4 / Cloth: 978-1-4780-0536-0