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Churches have begun awakening to social and political injustices, often carried out in the name of Christianity. But once awakened, how will we respond? Who Will Be a Witness offers a vision for communities of faith to organize for deliverance and justice in their neighborhoods, states, and nation as an essential part of living out the call of Jesus.
The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear by Rev. William J. Barber with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2016
Over the summer of 2013, the Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II led more than a hundred thousand people at rallies across North Carolina to protest restrictions to voting access and an extreme makeover of state government. These protests, known as Moral Mondays, have since blossomed in states as diverse as Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Ohio, and New York. At a time when divide-and-conquer politics are exacerbating racial strife and economic inequality, Rev. Barber offers an impassioned, historically grounded argument that Moral Mondays are hard evidence of an embryonic Third Reconstruction in America - a profoundly moral awakening of justice-loving people united in a fusion coalition powerful enough to reclaim the possibility of democracy-even in the face of corporate-financed extremism.
Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing by William J. Barber with Liz Theoharis and Rick Lowery;
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2018
This volume features Rev. Barber's most stirring sermons and speeches, with response essays by prominent public intellectuals, activists, and faith leaders. Drawing from the history of social movements in the US, especially the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign, Rev. Barber and the contributors to this volume speak to the most pressing issues of our time, including Black Lives Matter, the fight for a $15 minimum wage, the struggle to protect voting rights, the march for women's rights, and the movement to overcome poverty and unite the dispossessed across all dividing lines. Grounded in the fundamental biblical theme of poor and oppressed people taking action together, the book suggests ways to effectively build a fusion movement to make America fair and just for everyone.
Race: A Theological Account by J. Kameron Carter
Publication Date: New York: Oxford University Press, 2008
In this book, J. Kameron Carter meditates on the multiple legacies of colonialism and empire, political theories of the state, anthropological theories of the human, and philosophy itself, from the eighteenth-century Enlightenment to the present. His claim is that Christian theology, and the signal transformation it (along with Christianity) underwent, is at the heart of these legacies. In that transformation, Christian anti-Judaism biologized itself so as to racialize itself. As a result, and with the legitimation of Christian theology, Christianity became the cultural property of the West, the religious ground of white supremacy and global hegemony. In short, Christianity became white. The racial imagination is thus a particular kind of theological problem. Not content only to describe this problem, Carter constructs a way forward for Christian theology.
Interrupting White Privilege by Alexander Mikulich (Editor); Laurie M. Cassidy (Editor)
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2007
White Catholic theologians have remained relatively silent on the topic of racism since publication in 1979 of the U.S. bishops' statement against racism, Brothers and Sisters to Us. Contributors Jon Nilson, Mary Elizabeth Hobgood, Barbara Hilkert Andolsen, Charles Curran, Roger Haight, Margaret Guider, Margaret Pfeil, and editors Laurie Cassidy and Alex Mikulich all address the issue of white privilege and how it is a significant factor in shaping the evil of racism in our country. Book jacket.
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
Publication Date: New York : Convergent Books, 2018
A Black Theology of Liberation, 40th Anniv. ed. by James H. Cone
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010
This work by Dr. James Cone (1938-2018), now in a 40th anniversary edition, is his groundbreaking work which laid the foundation for modern black theology. It is a development and application of liberation theology in the context of the black experience in America. Cone reinterprets the whole of Christian theology through this lens, with a new understanding of God, human beings, Jesus Christ, and the people of God.
The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011
Black Christ: 25th Anniversary Edition by Kelly Brown Douglas
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2019
Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by Kelly Brown Douglas
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2014
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. by Lenny Duncan
Dear Church rejects the narrative of church decline and calls everyone--leaders and laity alike--to the front lines of the church's renewal through racial equality and justice. The author, Lenny Duncan, a black preacher in the whitest denomination in the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, urges that it is time for the church to rise up, dust itself off, and take on forces of this world that act against God: whiteness, misogyny, nationalism, homophobia, and economic injustice. Duncan gives a blueprint for the way forward and urges people to follow in the revolutionary path of Jesus.
The Sin of White Supremacy: Christianity, Racism, and Religious Diversity in America. by Jeannine Hill Fletcher
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2017
How have Christian theologies of religious superiority underwritten ideologies of white supremacy in the United States? According to Hill Fletcher, the tendency of Christians to view themselves as the "chosen ones" has often been translated into racial categories as well. In other words, Christian supremacy has historically lent itself to white supremacy, with disastrous consequences. How might we start to disentangle the two? Hill Fletcher proposes educational strategies that will help foster racial healing in America, the first of which is to demand of white Christians that they accept their responsibility for racist policies and structural discrimination in America.
Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew G. I. Hart
Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Reconciliation, 2nd ed. by Jennifer Harvey
Call Number: Essential Read -
Publication Date: Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014. 2nd ed. will be published Sept. 2020.
In this provocative book, Jennifer Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice-committed white Christians think about race. She calls for moving away from the reconciliation paradigm that currently dominates interracial relations and embracing instead a reparations paradigm. Harvey presents an insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among activist Christians toward the end of the Civil Rights movement, and she shows the necessity of bringing "white" racial identity into clear view in order to counter today's oppressive social structures. A deeply constructive, hopeful work, Dear White Christians will help readers envision new racial possibilities, including concrete examples of contemporary reparations initiatives.
White Awake: An Honest Look at What it Means to be White by Daniel Hill
Publication Date: Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2017
Daniel Hill will never forget the day he heard these words:"Daniel, you may be white, but don't let that lull you into thinking you have no culture. White culture is very real. In fact, when white culture comes in contact with other cultures, it almost always wins. So it would be a really good idea for you to learn about your culture."Confused and unsettled by this encounter, Hill began a journey of understanding his own white identity. Today he is an active participant in addressing and confronting racial and systemic injustices. In this book, White Awake, he explains the seven stages to expect on your own path to cultural awakening, to understand both personal and social realities in the areas of race, culture, and identity. Throughout the book Hill provides numerous Biblical and theological examples and challenges Christians and the Church to engage with their racial identity and to be forces of repentence, reconcilliation and change.
The End of White Christian America by Robert P. Jones
Publication Date: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017
Today, America is no longer demographically or culturally a majority white, Christian nation. Drawing on more than four decades of polling data, The End of White Christian America explains and analyzes the waning vitality of white christian America. The author argues that the visceral nature of today's most heated issues--the vociferous arguments around same-sex marriage and religious and sexual liberty, the rise of the Tea Party following the election of our first black president, and stark disagreements between black and white Americans over the fairness of the criminal justice system--can only be understood against the backdrop of white Christians' anxieties as America's racial and religious topography shifts around them.
Welcoming Justice: God's Movement Toward Beloved Community, Expanded ed. by Charles Marsh; John Perkins
Publication Date: Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2018
Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice by Eric Mason
Publication Date: Chicago: Moody Press, 2018
In this work of conservative evangelical theology, Dr. Eric Mason calls the evangelical church to a much-needed reckoning. In a time when many feel confused, complacent, or even angry, he challenges the church to: Be Aware - to understand that the issue of justice is not a black issue, it's a kingdom issue. To learn how the history of racism in America and in the church has tainted our witness to a watching world. Be Redemptive - to grieve and lament what we have lost and to regain our prophetic voice, calling the church to remember our gospel imperative to promote justice and mercy. Be Active - to move beyond polite, safe conversations about reconciliation and begin to set things aright for our soon-coming King.
Racial Justice and the Catholic Church by Bryan N. Massingale
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010
In this book, Fr. Bryan Massingale, a leading black Catholic moral theologian (Fordham University), addresses the thorny issue of racial justice past and present. In this book he reviews in detail the nature of racism and white privilege, analyzes Catholic social teaching on racism and its inadequate social analysis, and sets out key elements for a more adequate Catholic engagement with racial issues. Fr. Massingale writes from an abiding conviction that the Catholic faith and the black experience make essential contributions in the continuing struggle against racial injustice that is the work of all people.
Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance by Robin Meyers
Publication Date: New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016
That They May Be One: Catholic Teaching on Racism, Tribalism, and Xenophobia by Dawn M. Nothwehr
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008
That They May Be One is an important book exploring the Catholic Church and racism. Part 1 sets out defining core ideas and issues, including definitions of race and racism, the Biblical evidence for slavery and later critique, the support in Catholic teaching and practice for racial justice, and social scientific analysis of prejudice, discrimination and white privilege. Part Two is a global reader of relevant texts from papal and conciliar teaching and from bishops and church bodies from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania. For each document, their is a brief introduction, links to the full text, discussion questions and excerpts from the text.
Dream with Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win by John M. Perkins
Publication Date: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2017
Throughout his life and ministry, John Perkins has remained determined to seek justice and reconciliation based in Christ's redemptive work. "Justice is something that every generation has to strive for," he says. And despite the setbacks of recent years, Perkins finds hope in the young people he has met all across the nation who are hard at work, bringing about reconciliation in God's name and offering acceptance to all. Dream with Me is his look back at a life devoted to seeking justice for all God's people, as well as a look forward to what he sees as a potentially historic breakthrough for people of every race.
Preaching Black Lives (Matter) by Ed. by Gayle Fisher-Stewart
Publication Date: New York: Church Publishing, 2020
Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience by Sheila Wise Rowe
Publication Date: Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2020
"People of color have endured traumatic histories and almost daily assaults on our dignity. We have prayed about racism, been in denial, or acted out in anger, but we have not known how to individually or collectively pursue healing from the racial trauma." As a child, Sheila Wise Rowe was bused across town to a majority white school, where she experienced the racist lie that one group is superior to all others. This lie continues to be perpetuated today by the action or inaction of the government, media, viral videos, churches, and within families of origin. In contrast, Scripture declares that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Rowe, a professional counselor, exposes the symptoms of racial trauma to lead readers to a place of freedom from the past and new life for the future. In each chapter, she includes an interview with a person of color to explore how we experience and resolve racial trauma. With Rowe as a reliable guide who has both been on the journey and shown others the way forward, you will find a safe pathway to resilience.
Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity by David W. Swanson; Foreward by Brenda Salter
Publication Date: Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2020
The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby; Foreward by Lecrae Moore
Publication Date: Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2019
Equal parts painful and inspirational, The Color of Compromise details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church. It provides an historical survey, including America's early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War Covers the tragedy of Jim Crow laws, the victories of the Civil Rights era, and the strides of today's Black Lives Matter movement. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality.
America's Original Sin by Jim Wallis
Call Number: Essential Read -
Publication Date: Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2017
In America's Original Sin, Jim Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He provides a detailed overview of racism in America, from the "original sin" of slavery to the present, examining the destructive legacy of slavery still with us today. He shows how racism is built into the structure of American society and it issues forth in de facto segregation, white privilege, inequality, the criminal justice system, and the church. He speaks candidly to Christians--particularly white Christians--urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing. Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change.
Christianity and Civil Religion
Christian America and the Kingdom of God by Richard T. Hughes
Publication Date: Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009
The idea of the United States as a Christian nation is a powerful, seductive, and potentially destructive theme in American life, culture, and politics. And yet, as Richard T. Hughes reveals in this powerful book, the biblical vision of the "kingdom of God" stands at odds with the values and actions of an American empire that sanctions war instead of peace, promotes dominance and oppression instead of reconciliation, and exalts wealth and power instead of justice for the poor and needy. With extensive analysis of both Christian scripture and American history from the founding of the republic to the present day, Christian America and the Kingdom of God illuminates the devastating irony of a "Christian America" that so often behaves in unchristian ways.
Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity by Charles Marsh
Publication Date: New York: Oxford University Press, 2007
In Wayward Christian Soldiers, Charles Marsh offers a powerful indictment of the political activism of evangelical Christian leaders and churches in the United States. With emphasis on repentance and renewal, this important work advises Christians how to understand past mistakes and to avoid making them in the future. Over the past several years, Marsh observes, American evangelicals have achieved more political power than at any time in their history. But access and influence have come at a cost to their witness in the world and the integrity of their message. The author offers a sobering contrast between the contemporary evangelical elite, which forms the core of the Republican Party, and the historic Christian tradition of respect for the mystery of God and appreciation for human fallibility.
American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion: Reassessing the History of an Idea by John D. Wilsey; Foreward by John Fea
Publication Date: Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2015
God and War: American Civil Religion Since 1945 by Raymond Haberski Jr.
Publication Date: New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012
Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy by Andrew Preston
Publication Date: New York: Knopf, 2012
One Nation under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M. Kruse
Publication Date: New York : Basic Books, 2015
City on a Hill: A History of American Exceptionalism by Abram C. Van Engen
Publication Date: New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2020
Religion and Radical Politics: An Alternative Christian Tradition in the United States by Robert H. Craig
Publication Date: Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992
God and Race in American Politics: A Short History by Mark A. Noll
Publication Date: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2008
The Civil War As a Theological Crisis by Mark A. Noll
Publication Date: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006
Viewing the Civil War as a major turning point in American religious thought, Mark A. Noll examines writings about slavery and race from Americans both white and black, northern and southern, and includes commentary from Protestants and Catholics in Europe and Canada. Though the Christians on all sides agreed that the Bible was authoritative, their interpretations of slavery in Scripture led to a full-blown theological crisis.
Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion by Bettye Collier-Thomas
Publication Date: Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014; Originally published New York: Knopf, 2010.
Interracialism and Christian Community in the Postwar South: The Story of Koinonia Farm by Tracy Elaine K'meyer
Publication Date: Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1997
Remaking the Rural South: Interracialism, Christian Socialism, and Cooperative Farming in Jim Crow Mississippi by Robert Hunt Ferguson
Publication Date: Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2018
Divine Agitators: The Delta Ministry and Civil Rights in Mississippi by Mark Newman
Publication Date: Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004
A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow by David L. Chappell
Publication Date: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004
The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, From the Civil Rights Movement to Today by Charles Marsh
Publication Date: New York: Basic Books, 2004
Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Social Gospel by Gary Dorrien
Publication Date: New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019
Direct Action: Radical Pacifism from the Union Eight to the Chicago Seven by James D. Tracy
Publication Date: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996
American Prophets: Seven Religious Radicals and their Struggle for Social and Political Justice by Albert J. Raboteau
Publication Date: Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016
Can I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community-Builders, and Agitators for Faith and Justice by Ed. by Charles Marsh, Shea Tuttle, and Daniel P. Rhodes
Publication Date: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2019
Church People in the Struggle: The National Council of Churches and the Black Freedom Movement, 1950-1970 by James F. Findlay; James F. Findlay
Publication Date: New York: Oxford University Press, 1993
From Reconciliation to Revolution: The Student Interracial Ministry, Liberal Christianity, and the Civil Rights Movement by David P. Cline
Publication Date: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016
Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama by Charles Eagles
Publication Date: Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2000; Originally publilshed Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993
An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land by William Stringfellow
Publication Date: Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2004. Originally published Waco, TX: Word Books, 1973
In this now classic work, An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land, William Stringfellow identifies America as a fallen nation with the parable of Babylon in the Book of Revelation - not with Jerusalem the holy nation, as Americans are naively and vainly wont to do . Dr. Stringfellow issues a trenchant indictment of our American society. Shockingly prophetic, dismaying, and sobering, William Stringfellow's rigorous biblical theology will surely offend the self-righteous. But the citizen of Jerusalem, alien in Babylon, will welcome the bluntness and insight with which he speaks.
God's Colony in Man's World: Christian Love in Action by George W. Webber
Publication Date: New York: Abingdon, 1960
People of the Dream: Multiracial Congregations in the United States by Michael O. Emerson with Rodney M. Woo
Publication Date: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006
United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation As an Answer to the Problem of Race by Curtiss Paul DeYoung, Michael O. Emerson, George Yancey and Karen Chai Kim
Publication Date: New York: Oxford University Press, 2003
Against All Odds: The Struggle for Racial Integration in Religious Organizations by Brad Christerson, Korie L. Edwards and Michael O. Emerson
Publication Date: New York: New York University Press, 2005
The Elusive Dream: The Power of Race in Interracial Churches by Korie L. Edwards
Publication Date: New York: Oxford University Press, 2008
A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church by Gerardo Marti
Publication Date: Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press, 2005