Reading “The African American Bible” on Paper and in Class - The Journal of Biblical Literature recently published a series on ways that biblical scholars have engaged with #BlackLivesMatter in their work.
The Bible and Race in the USA: What Went Without Saying - Curator’s Note–I’ve struggled for weeks with how to conclude the Bible and Race in the USA series. People’s shock at the malleability of truth and the temptation of exceptionalism has challenged me to re-situate the discussion. So before you is a personal reflection to explore why so few of our current events are actually textbook.…
Locations of Interpretation: Scriptures and Fear in America - Ekaputra Tupamahu discusses Marlee Schwalm’s foray into the history of religion in the American Pacific WWII theater. He surfaces resonances between Post-Pearl Harbor Japanophobia and Post-9/11 Islamophobia.
Reimagining America as Liminal: Continuing to Travel with MC Jin - Ekaputra Tupamahu reframes Maya Aphornsuvan’s study of Chinese-American hip hop artist MC Jin in terms of hybridity and liminality in the imagined community of America.
The Bible and Rap - Maya Aphornsuvan (Elizabethtown College ’18) follows the story of rapper, MC Jin, examining how the Bible and race color the meaning of his success–whether he wants it to or not. This is the second issue in our fourth volume on the Bible and Race in the USA. You can read a response to this post here. “If…
The Bible and Race in the USA: the Redundancy of Identity Politics - Hilary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign has prompted a number of post-mortem pieces on the state of the Democratic Party. Not too long ago, pundits had predicted that Donald Trump’s nativism spelled the end of the Grand Ole Party. Now the question is where did Hilary Clinton go wrong,
An America Past Time: Latina/o Pentecostals and the 11/9 Election - In this response to Twila McAdams and Amanda Robbins, Dr. Lloyd Barba uses the 11/9/16 presidential election to examine the tensions between the socio-economic and racial history of Latina/o Pentecostalism and the admonitions of Latina/o liberative hermeneutics.
Pentecostalism’s Rise through Hispanic Americans - Amanda Robbins challenges us to think through the appeal of Pentecostalism within a Hispanic American context. She wonders how the needs of communities register in Bible-reading strategies. See other pieces in our series on the Bible and Race here. Pentecostalism has been an increasingly popular religion in the United States of America, particularly for its…
A Stand for Diversity - In this second issue on Hispanic American bible reading, undergrad Twila McAdams looks at potential shifts in empathy regarding LGBTQ persons by evangelicals after the 2016 Orlando shooting. Her piece has us wonder how firm social boundaries are in light of trauma. See other pieces in the series here. A recent report from NBC news…
The Bible and Race in the USA: Dating Human Worth - For many Christians, the season of Advent is a time to reevaluate what is worthwhile in the world. The idea is that at season’s end, the birth of Christ brings a new formulation of life’s fundamentals. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law  but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). The gospel becomes an accounting of who and…
Thoughts on the State of our Disunion - Today, we can speak casually of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Many of us are not required to think about, really think about, the effects of three hundred-plus years of “writing on backs” that lead to the movement. We are removed from the economic realities and social injustices that lit the fire for that movement. Anyone who has not had to come to terms with the persistence of that writing on the backs is not likely to feel the sense of urgency that racism in this country ought to stir in all of us.
Black Christians and Donald Trump - Although Donald Trump has had success connecting with white evangelicals, Amanda Robbins (Elizabethtown College ’17)  looks at the disconnect between Donald Trump and black Christian voters. This is the second issue in our second volume on the Bible and Race in the USA. You can see the first volume here. The world is watching as the United States presidential…
Nat Turner: Black Moses of America - Marlee Schwalm (Elizabethtown College ’18) studies Nat Turner’s 19th century realization of the Moses tradition as recorded in Thomas Gray’s Confessions. This is the first issue in our second volume on the Bible and Race in the USA. You can see the first volume here. Nat Turner was born a slave in Virginia in 1800. Nat…
The Bible and Race in the USA: Dreaming of Ahistories - In just a few short weeks, the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) will be holding their joint annual meeting. Recently, the AAR took up the tradition of bandying a theme; “Revolutionary Love.” Elsewhere I’ve offered remarks on the issues it raises for the type of work that I…
The Bible, Race, and Indigeneity: A Response - Andie Alexander closes out our series on indigeneity–part of a conversation on “The Bible and Race in the USA.” See the rest of the discussion to explore other contexts and analyses.
Crazy Horse and Native American Spirituality - Madi Dodge examines the motivations involved in remembering indigenous pasts. Israel Dominguez offers a response. This is the third post in our series on indigeneity and part of a conversation on “The Bible and Race in the USA.“ Carved into the rock of the Black Hills of South Dakota, is one of the most popular and historical…
The Pledge of Allegiance and Native Americans - Maya Aphornsuvan looks at the contestation over American patriotism in light of settler-colonial and Cold War history. Israel Dominguez offers a response. This is the second post in our series on indigeneity and part of a conversation on “The Bible and Race in the USA.“ “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to…
Soft Territorialism in the Sioux and DAPL Conflict - Twila McAdams explores the sides, scripts, and stakes to the protest at Standing Rock. Israel Dominguez offers a response. This is the first post in our series on indigeneity and part of a conversation on “The Bible and Race in the USA.“ In a recent Huffington Post article, Georgianne Nienaber records that Native Americans from the…
The Bible and Race in the USA: An Introduction to Contexts - In 2014 I began teaching an Elizabethtown College course called “The Bible and Race in the USA.” It’s a seminar driven by a question about how discourses like “Bible,” “race” and “America” inform each other to the extent that we can hardly unweave them. There’s a craftiness to textuality that we quickly forget all that…
The Tenure of Scriptures: Interpreting Wheaton College (Illinois) - Do Christians and Muslims worship the same god? The answer matters at Wheaton, but why does the question?
Christianity Before and After Charleston - ...one of the most vivid accounts of baptism in the Black Church tradition while contextualizing the role of race and Christianity in American life.
REL 321 The Bible and Race in the USA - In the journey to become American, communities find themselves having to contend with the Bible and race. The manner of the intersections and negotiations may vary, but the connection is consistent part of the nation’s history. This seminar examines the relationship between these two discourses in the American experiment, giving special attention to how the Bible has…
Racism–It’s not for Saturday Morning Cartoons or Sunday School Curricula Anymore! - Yesterday in my Bible and Race in the United States of America class, I asked students how differently they might read the Bible were it introduced with the following disclaimer: