[Blueboard] kk lecture series

fgonzaga at ateneo.edu fgonzaga at ateneo.edu
Wed Aug 9 11:23:10 PHT 2006


Kritika Kultura
English Department

invite you to a lecture by



Christianity, Supremacy, & Indigenous Spirituality in the 21st Century:
How White Theology Wages Wars of Color

25 August 2006
Friday, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Science Education Complex Lecture Hall # 2
Ateneo de Manila University

This talk will examine the ways white supremacy and Christian theology
have knotted together in modern history to create the conditions for
recurrent warfare waged by European and American peoples against peoples
of color around the globe.  The Iraq war is only the latest in a
centuries-long practice of white intervention in other cultures that has
its deepest roots in a sense of superiority that is both racially and
religiously motivated. In history, European Christianity's very quick
"reading" of indigenous religious traditions as inferior or false
(without really bothering to gain any understanding of those traditions)
led to a thorough-going presumption of religious superiority that today
is virtually indistinguishable from Christian self-understanding.  At the
same time, this religious supremacy was quickly joined to perceptions of
physical difference such that racial categories became a kind of
immediate shorthand for beliefs about social hierarchy based on religious
destiny (people with dark skin were for centuries generally believed by
many Europeans to be less than human and incapable of genuine spiritual
response to ultimate reality and thus utterly exploitable and
expendable).  Over the centuries, European colonial and imperial
domination has left a legacy of profound misunderstanding and fear of
indigenous practices among white populations and forced many traditional
peoples into various kinds of creative and often hidden spiritual
adaptations to the religious-political systems imposed.  The recent
resurgence of older spiritualities in theaters of political struggle
around the globe points to the urgent need for a radical challenging of
the historical connection between racial and religious ideas of supremacy
before that combination proves lethal for the planet itself.  The talk
will offer different ways of understanding both Christianity and
indigenous spiritualities that holds each accountable to the most
insistent questions of global oppression and devastation.

Jim Perkinson is a long-time activist and educator from inner city
Detroit, currently on leave from his position as Associate Professor of
Social Ethics at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary to teach in the
humanities at the University of Denver.   He holds a Ph.D. in
theology/history of religions from the University of Chicago, is the
author of White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity and Shamanism,
Racism, and Hip-Hop Culture: Essays on White Supremacy and Black
Subversion, and has written extensively in both academic and popular
journals on questions of race, class and colonialism in connection with
religion and urban culture.  He is in demand as a speaker on a wide
variety of topics related to his interests and a recognized artist on the
spoken-word poetry scene in the inner city.

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