Most recently, we have encountered white supremacy's persistence against the violent backdrop of racist violence faced by the Black community at the hands of law enforcement. An unprecedented level of protest has swept the nation in honor of Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Roxanne Moore, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other Black men, women, transgender people, and children who have lost their lives due to the enduring white supremacy in America. The Christian church in America has also witnessed a national reckoning as Christians grapple with their complicity in upholding systems and structures of racist violence.
White supremacy's inculcation in American society has affirmed a form of conceptual violence that has often been the prelude to physical violence, rendering violence and its undergirding ideology normative. More tragically, white supremacy embraced in various institutional forms enforces limitations on the marginalized to exist beyond the prescribed boundaries inscribed on them by white supremacy. The result is the forced conformity by the marginalized to prescribed notions of their (non)existence, as those notions are taken not as projections but as realities of their existence. This dynamic of white supremacy represents an urgent concern for communities of the oppressed and demands a theological response. Yet, for some, the relentless assault of white supremacy suggests the failure of Christian theology to serve as a resistor to the encroachments of white supremacy upon human dignity and flourishing.
The Center for Barth Studies and the Betsey Stockton Center for Black Church Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary are partnering together to host a one-day virtual event titled “White Supremacy and Christianity: Reckoning with the Past and Reimagining the Future” on Thursday, April 28. This conference seeks to assert the continuing hope in the power of theological interrogation to assist both theological discourse and the praxes of the church but also desires to engage in a reexamination of the tools of theological or praxiological inquiry into white supremacy. It may be that the persistence of white supremacy is partly a response to Christian theology's use of intellectual or practical tools that have themselves become infected with white supremacy. Instead of resistance, theological discourse has become complicit with white supremacy. The goal of this event is to foster dialogue and constructive conversation around alternative modes of existence and theological inquiry. At the same time, we also seek to identify the ways religious leaders, faith scholars, and their respective institutions might continue to assert the enduring hope of the Christian faith to reimagine a future free of the lingering effects of white supremacy.
9–10 a.m. | Speaker 1 - Paul Dafydd Jones (University of Virginia)
10–10:30 a.m. | Break
10:30–11:30 a.m. | Speaker 2 - Amaryah Armstrong (Virginia Tech)
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Lunch Break
1–2 p.m. | Speaker 3 - Joseph Winters (Duke University)
2–2:30 p.m. | Break
2:30–3:30 p.m. | Speaker 4 - Obery Hendricks (Columbia University)
3:30–4 p.m. | Break
4–5:30 | Panel Discussion - Keri Day (Princeton Seminary), Earle Fisher (Abyssinian Mission Baptist Church, Tennessee), Hanna Reichel (Princeton Seminary), and Kelly Brown Douglas (Union Theological Seminary).
There is no cost for this event but registration is required.
“Through my field education placement at Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey, I discovered my gift to minister to all age groups.”