Highly anticipated and long awaited, Duke University Divinity School professor J. Kameron Carter’s Race: A Theological Account, Oxford, 2008, is finally available! It looks promising in its breadth of study. Jay holds an evangelical institution’s ThM under his PhD (Virginia). However, I am not expecting the account to be an evangelical analysis in the narrower sense of evangelical. Here are the reviews and product information from OUP:
In Race: A Theological Account , J. Kameron Carter meditates on the multiple legacies implicated in the production of a racialized world and that still mark how we function in it and think about ourselves. These are the legacies of colonialism and empire, political theories of the state, anthropological theories of the human, and philosophy itself, from the eighteenth-century Enlightenment to the present.
Carter’s claim is that Christian theology, and the signal transformation it (along with Christianity) underwent, is at the heart of these legacies. In that transformation, Christian anti-Judaism biologized itself so as to racialize itself. As a result, and with the legitimation of Christian theology, Christianity became the cultural property of the West, the religious ground of white supremacy and global hegemony. In short, Christianity became white. The racial imagination is thus a particular kind of theological problem.
Not content only to describe this problem, Carter constructs a way forward for Christian theology. Through engagement with figures as disparate in outlook and as varied across the historical landscape as Immanuel Kant, Frederick Douglass, Jarena Lee, Michel Foucault, Cornel West, Albert Raboteau, Charles Long, James Cone, Irenaeus of Lyons, Gregory of Nyssa, and Maximus the Confessor, Carter reorients the whole of Christian theology, bringing it into the twenty-first century.
Neither a simple reiteration of Black Theology nor another expression of the new theological orthodoxies, this groundbreaking book will be a major contribution to contemporary Christian theology, with ramifications in other areas of the humanities.
“An intellectual tour de force! This book demonstrates great intellectual range and theological imagination; it should be read by all students of theology, religious studies and African American religion and history. I have nothing but praise for this work by a young African American scholar who must be reckoned with.” –James H. Cone, Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary
“Jay Kameron Carter has written an extraordinarily insightful and sophisticated analysis of race as it has been constructed in modern philosophy and theology. His study reconceptualizes modernity and demonstrates the centrality of religion to any understanding of racism.” –Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
504 pages; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
About the Author(s)
J. Kameron Carter is Associate Professor of Theology & Black Church Studies at Duke University Divinity School.