The Sin of White Supremacy

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How have Christian theologies of religious superiority underwritten ideologies of white supremacy in the United States? According to Hill Fletcher, the tendency of Christians to view themselves as the “chosen ones” has often been translated into racial categories as well. In other words, Christian supremacy has historically lent itself to white supremacy, with disastrous consequences.

How might we start to disentangle the two?  Hill Fletcher proposes strategies that will help foster racial healing in America, the first of which is to demand of white Christians that they accept their responsibility for racist policies and structural discrimination in America.

Jeannine Hill Fletcher is a professor at Fordham University and a constructive theologian whose research is at the intersection of systematic theology and issues of diversity (including gender, race, and religious diversity).  Her books include Monopoly on Salvation?  A Feminist Approach to Religious Pluralism (2005) and Motherhood as Metaphor: Engendering Interreligious Dialogue (2013). 

Book Details

The Sin of White Supremacy
Christianity, Racism, and Religious Diversity in America
Jeannine Hill Fletcher

The Sin of White Supremacy Table of Contents (978-1-62698-237-6_toc.pdf, 34 Kb) [Download]

A worthy volume in the growing corpus of antiracist theologies envisioned by White Catholic theologians. It can be of particular use to graduate students, academics, and those involved in ministry looking for a "thick description" of the origins and production of White Christian supremacy and ways to name, understand, and begin to dismantle it.
Hill Fletcher shares an important vision for the Western church that confronts theologians, ministers, and lay Christians, calling them all into accountability for the church's future. . . . The challenge for readers is to respond constructively and faithfully within their own theological commitments.
Powerful. Hill Fletcher utilizes an impressive variety of social-scientific, biblical, theological, philosophical, and historical analyses, as well as practical resources from contemporary US anti-racist trainers.
One of the strengths of Fletcher's "The Sin of White Supremacy" is that it begins to unpack the theological history of racism in the United States in a way that is readily accessible. Importantly, this allows her work to be very useful for undergraduate- and graduate-level students who are exploring the very Christian beginnings of racism in the United States.
"Recommended to all thoughtful readers."
"Extraordinarily helpful.... could not be more timely in light of current political events."
No book speaks with a more powerful prophetic voice than this one to the current context of economic and political disparity between American Whites and the American Rest. Hill Fletcher's book unearths the structural sins buried deep in the institutional practices of American society and Church. White American Christians should heed her heartfelt laments and passionate advocacy for racial justice.
Timely and urgent, this courageous book offers theological resources for working toward racial and economic justice. Required reading for anyone interested in social transformation and liberation!
In her recognition of the corruption of Christian identity by White supremacy, Hill Fletcher gives us a tool for exploring the seeming intractable problem of Christian participation in the sinful workings of racism. This text offers a great service for the Church, the theological academy, and people of good will interested in challenging one of the greatest evils of modernity.
For many Christians, this book will be a sobering but liberating slap in the face. Hill Fletcher makes a careful and undeniable case that ‘the theology of Christian supremacy gave birth to the ideology of White supremacy,’ and that we won’t really be able to undo claims or feelings that Whites are superior until we do the same for claims that Christianity/Christ are superior over other religions. Fortunately, she devotes half the book to showing how Christians can overcome their superiority complex if they take Jesus’ message of serving, self-sacrificing love seriously.
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