As a Christian who enjoys thinking critically and reading texts outside my own tradition and belief system, I find it quite difficult to find safe spaces, both IRL and on-line to find a community that engages in such inquiry, questions related to race and religion. For some time now, there’s a small community I have been a part of, that at first seemed to be safe, without the overbearing threat of becoming “mainstream,” or made more suitable to market interests and hegemony. Recent decisions and events by this group have made me more suspicious about the move towards working to be accepted by “the mainstream” but I did not have the words to frame my concerns until today.
From Janice Rees,
“It seems however, that more probing questions need to be asked about institutional power and the oligopoly of ‘minoritised scholarship’. In the commodification of theological education and scholarship, the ongoing claims of ‘global theology’ – that is, the drawing of minoritised scholars to the centres of power – begin to look more like economically motivated strategies of homogenisation than attempts to diversify voices.”
I think in other words, talks of a “global theology” much like the rhetoric that promotes higher education to make high schoolers into “global citizens” is just a reflection of the not-so-free marketplace. This is something I will continue to think about, but for now, I would recommend you read the rest: O Sister, Where Art Thou?
The other post I would recommend is one that has implications for the study of race and religion as well:
“But people largely imagine North America as this timeless place and don’t recognize that pre-contact American history had just as much of an effect on post-contact history because it provides explanations of the motivations and reasonings behind indigenous peoples’ actions.
But of course, that would require people to recognize that indigenous people had their own histories and agendas and agency that affected the course of history rather than making them a passive recipient of European historical force.”