This week, take Reparation and Racial Justice with Jennifer Harvey For Individuals and For Groups. This course is the third of five courses in our Lenten series on building racial justice, created in partnership with Trinity Institute and free to anybody who wishes to take them through Lent of 2016.
Jennifer Harvey is a professor of religion at Drake University as well as an author and lecturer. Her book Dear White Christians was acclaimed by critics as an important offering to the conversation about race in “post racial” America.
Dr. Harvey’s central argument is that white Christians who seek reconciliation with Christians of color, particularly African American Christians, tend to jump the gun. The recipients of great advantage on account of their race, both historically and in the present day, many white Christians since the 1970s have wanted to sit down at the table with Christians of other races and reconcile. Such a request at this point, Dr. Harvey argues, is both ineffective and premature. We do not yet worship as brothers and sisters with Christians of other races, nor is it appropriate that we should do so.The only way to achieve reconciliation, she says, is first to engage in repentance and, to the extent it is possible to achieve, reparation for the wrongs that have profited white people so greatly at the expense of so many.
If white Christians manage true repentance for their wrongdoings and engage in genuine gestures of reparation, working toward building justice under the guidance of Americans of other races, reconciliation between the groups might become a realistic, if very long-term goal.
In this class, Dr. Harvey develops this central argument, offers reasons for it, and suggests ways in which white Christians might successfully engage in the process of repentance and reparation with their brothers and sisters of other races. Her arguments offer rich substance for serious conversations about race during Lent. For a preview of the class, please click below.