Witnessing Whiteness: Confronting White Supremacy in the American Church

Witnessing Whiteness

By Kristopher Norris. Explores the challenges that lie at the intersection of race, church, and politics in America and argues for a new ethic of responsibility to confront white supremacy. Provides in-depth analysis of the ways whiteness, as a process of social/identity formation, is fueling racial division within American Christianity and the inadequacy of efforts at racial reconciliation to fully address the challenges white supremacy poses. Focuses on two thinkers in American religion of the past half century, Stanley Hauerwas and James Cone and examines the current manifestations of racism in American churches, exploring the theological roots of white supremacy, and reflecting on the ways whiteness impacts even well-meaning, progressive white theologians. Diagnoses the ways in which all of white theology and white Christian practice are implicated in white supremacy by identifying the roots of white supremacy within the Christian church’s theology and practice and argues that the white church has a particular, and fundamental, responsibility to address it. Holds that this responsibility is at the convergence of two prominent streams in theological ethics: traditionalist witness theology and black liberationist theology. Employing their shared resources and attending to the criticisms liberation theology directs at traditionalism, it proposes concrete practices to challenge the white church’s and white theology’s complicity in white supremacy. Read more.