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Infected Christianity

Focusing on five modern "Christs," Alan Davies examines how the Christian church has succumbed to the infection of racist ideas. Using an analysis of the writings of representative philosophic and religious figures, Davies shows that the myths of race and nation, innocent in themselves, have evolved into "sacred" myths and histories which not only infected Christianity but, in the case of Germany and South Africa, served to legitimize ruling racist elites. He traces the course of racism to its roots in the religious, cultural, and intellectual history of western civilization and to its culmination in the formation of the Aryan myth - the great race myth of white Europeans - in the nineteenth century. As Germany played a pivotal role in recent developments of racism, Davies discusses the Germanic Christ first and most extensively. He analyzes French Roman-Catholic racism, particularly its role in the Third Republic, through discussion of the "Latin" Christ. His study of the Anglo-Saxon Christ covers both English and American expressions of racism and their links to imperialism. This is followed by a discussion of Afrikaner racism, and an exploration of black nationalism in the United States and its advocacy of a black Christ. Davies concludes with a discussion of the theological problems arising from the five racial Christs surveyed and the dilemmas posed by the attempt to cast a universal religion in a particular cultural mould.
Infected Christianity
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Focusing on five modern Christs, Alan Davies examines how the Christian church has succumbed to the infection of racist ideas. Using an analysis of the writings of representative philosophic and religious figures, Davies shows that the myths of race and nation, innocent in themselves, have evolved into sacred myths and histories which not only infected Christianity but, in the case of Germany and South Africa, served to legitimize ruling racist elites. He traces the course of racism to its roots in the religious, cultural, and intellectual history of western civilization and to its culmination in the formation of the Aryan myth - the great race myth of white Europeans - in the nineteenth century. As Germany played a pivotal role in recent developments of racism, Davies discusses the Germanic Christ first and most extensively. He analyzes French Roman-Catholic racism, particularly its role in the Third Republic, through discussion of the Latin Christ. His study of the Anglo-Saxon Christ covers both English and American expressions of racism and their links to imperialism. This is followed by a discussion of Afrikaner racism, and an exploration of black nationalism in the United States and its advocacy of a black Christ. Davies concludes with a discussion of the theological problems arising from the five racial Christs surveyed and the dilemmas posed by the attempt to cast a universal religion in a particular cultural mould.
Alan Davies is a member of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Toronto.
"A succinct and significant overview of the subject...such an overview would be welcomed by a mainline Christian readership...For secular readers of social history...it could provide an honest and interesting glimpse into the ongoing struggle between Christianity and culture." D.J. Hall, Department of Religious Studies, McGill University
Pages
176
Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Year
1988
ISBN-10
0773506519
ISBN-13
9780773506510
Format
Hardcover
Publication Date
1988-06-01
Imprint
McGill-Queen's University Press
Place of Publication
Montreal
Country of Publication
Canada
DEWEY
261.8348
Short Title
INFECTED CHRISTIANITY A STUDY
Language
English
Media
Book
Author
Alan T. Davies
Subtitle
a Study of Modern Racism
Illustrations
black & white illustrations
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