J. Kameron Carter, race

Race’s Theological Account

J. Kameron Carter’s thesis:

My fundamental contention is that modernity’s racial imagination has its genesis in the theological problem of Christianity’s quest to sever itself from its Jewish roots. This severance was carried out in two distinct but integrated steps. First, Jews were cast as a race group in contrast to Western Christians, who with the important assistance of the discourses of Christian theology and philosophy, were also subtly and simultaneously cast as a race group. The Jews were the mirror in which the European and eventually the Euro-American Occident could religiously and thus racially conceive itself through the difference of Orientalism. In this way, Western culture began to articulate itself as Christian culture (and vice versa), but now–and this is the new movement–through the medium of a racial imagination. Second, having racialized Jews as a people of the Orient and thus Judaism as a “religion” of the East, Jews were then deemed inferior to Christians of the Occident or the West. Hence, the racial imagination (the first step) proved as well to be a racist imagination of white supremacy (the second step). Within the gulf enacted between Christianity and the Jews, the racial, which proves to be a racist, imagination was forged.

From Race: A Theological Account by J. Kameron Carter, pg. 4.


5 thoughts on “Race’s Theological Account

  1. Pingback: Brief Notes from Other Blogs « Levellers

  2. Robert says:

    The thesis of Carter’s book looks good, and its thorough explication should go a long way in convincing honest assessors of the historical solipsist attitude of the Occident (Europe and America).

    I’ll try to get through as much of it as I can before school starts.

  3. Christian Collins Winn says:

    I’m having my students read it for a senior seminar in theology. It looks to me like it will be not only challenging, but inspiring. I look forward to your thoughts.

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