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This project addresses the ways whiteness, racism, and race operate in multiracial congregations and presents antiracist discipleship practices as the means toward freedom from their deforming force. Noting the racial hyper-segregation of congregations in the United States, the project avers that segregation is not the church’s actual problem; therefore, congregational integration is not an adequate solution. Rather, segregation is a symptom of a deeper sickness. Racism is identified as a deeper manifestation of the church’s ongoing race problem, but it, too, is named as a symptom of a yet deeper malady. The US church’s deep sickness is “whiteness”, a pernicious perversion of God’s gift of Ethnicity.
This project makes the case for the goodness of the powers and principalities, the ordering structures of God’s creation. The powers are herein presented as good, fallen, and to be redeemed. Ethnicity is named as one among the powers, which through a pattern of perversion by which all powers fall to Sin, becomes whiteness. Whiteness gives birth to racism, which in turn gives birth to race, all of which operate interrelatedly to destroy the US church’s witness to Jesus’ overcoming of dividing walls.
Employing anecdotes from the life of CityWell UMC in Durham, NC, the project reflects on the ways whiteness, racism, and race have worked in our midst, and so threatened our calling to become a people who receive the ways of Jesus as our way of life. The identification of the threats to our calling allows for the naming of specific antiracist discipleship practices and strengthens our resistance to and leads us to freedom from the ways that whiteness, racism, and race would deform our common life and witness. The project concludes with a hopeful anticipation of the way repentance can lead the church to the ultimate healing of our deep sickness.
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Wood, H. Stanley
racism, antiracist, discipleship
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May, Celve, "Antiracist Discipleship: Practicing Freedom from the Deforming Forces of Whiteness, racism, and race" (2017). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 305.