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Palgrave Macmillan

Racism and the Image of God

ISBN 9780230114715
Publication Date November 2010
Formats Ebook (PDF) Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice

Racism and the Image of God proposes a new direction in Christian thinking about the body. Western Christianity has traditionally taught that the soul or mind best represents God's image in humans; in the United States bodily differences, especially those often labeled "racial," have been used to justify hierarchies of worth. This book argues that bodies deserve respect as part of the image of God. From her perspective as a white feminist theologian, Karen Teel dialogues with five womanist thinkers to develop a Christian theology of the body that can compel Christians, especially U. S. Christians of European descent, to actively resist the sin of racism.

Karen Teel is an Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego

Racism as a Christian Problem * Racism as a White Problem * Racism as a Theological Problem * Combat Breathing: Katie G. Cannon * Surrogacy and Survival: Delores S. Williams * The Color of Christianity: Kelly Brown Douglas * Shoulder to Shoulder: M. Shawn Copeland * Dismantling Evil: Emilie M. Townes * One Body at a Time


"This book is an important, long over-due, practical course of treatment for white Christians who understand that racism did not end with the 2008 presidential election.With great sensitivity and pastoral skill, Teel guides us through the work of key womanist ‘mentors' toward a more whole (and more Christian) reality of human bodies as the image of God - a reality that must be enacted as well as acknowledged.Her honesty is inspiring, her confidence in us irresistible." - Laurel C. Schneider, Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture, Chicago Theological Seminary and author of Re-Imagining the Divine: Confronting the Backlash against Feminist Theology and Beyond Monotheism: A Theology of Multiplicity
"In this effort, Teel begins to flesh out a white feminist theological anthropology that responds to the continuing history of race in this country with sharp clarity. Listening deeply to womanist scholars, Teel crafts from her own self-questioning a profound challenge to theological scholarship: the imago dei must be re-imagined as rooted in the bodily particularities of everyone if Christianity is to cease reinforcing racial hierarchy and contribute to a full human flourishing! This is a text at once lucid and penetrating, a must-read for our intensifying polycultural future." - James W. Perkinson, Professor of Ethics and Systematic Theology, Ecumenical Theological Seminary and author of White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity and Shamanism, Racism, and Hip Hop Culture: Essays on White Supremacy and Black Subversion"Teel pleads for a new theological anthropology that honors the body as a site for the image of God while rejecting both dualism and essentialism, thus challenging European-American white Christian readers to reflect self-critically on their complicity in individual and structural racism. With courage and nuance, she illuminates the path we must follow so that the image of God is recognized in every body and enacted by all persons through a praxis of solidarity against injustice and suffering. Racism and the Image of God offers a diagnosis that unsettles and a cure that is long past due. It is a gift we can ill afford to ignore." - Elena Procario-Foley, Driscoll Professor of Jewish-Catholic Studies, Iona College and co-editor of Frontiers in Catholic Feminist Theology: Shoulder to Shoulder
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