Over in Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds, I have an article that has gone to press. It's called "Reading Alex Haley's Roots: Toward an Anthropology of Scriptures."
In his 1974 essay, ""One of the Many Faces of China: Maoism as a Quasi-Religion," Joseph M. Kitagawa acknowledges Chairman Mao’s movement to create a new culture as “Maoism.” Instead of calling this movement a “religion,” he refers to Maoism as a “quasi-religion.” In doing so, he attempts to avoid the clashing reactions that often comes along with referring to a movement as a religion. Yet, viewing the development of Maoism in terms of the sociology of religion can help us understand the way it has mapped the culture, ethnicity, and gender of today’s China.
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 … Continue reading The Bible and Race in the USA: Dating Human Worth
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.
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.