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Publisher's Summary

Why has Christianity, a religion premised upon neighborly love, failed in its attempts to heal social divisions? In this ambitious and wide-ranging work, Willie James Jennings delves deep into the late medieval soil in which the modern Christian imagination grew, to reveal how Christianity's highly refined process of socialization has inadvertently created and maintained segregated societies. A probing study of the cultural fragmentation - social, spatial, and racial - that took root in the Western mind, this book shows how Christianity has consistently forged Christian nations rather than encouraging genuine communion between disparate groups and individuals.

Weaving together the stories of Zurara, the royal chronicler of Prince Henry, the Jesuit theologian Jose de Acosta, the famed Anglican Bishop John William Colenso, and the former slave writer Olaudah Equiano, Jennings narrates a tale of loss, forgetfulness, and missed opportunities for the transformation of Christian communities. Touching on issues of slavery, geography, Native American history, Jewish-Christian relations, literacy, and translation, he brilliantly exposes how the loss of land and the supersessionist ideas behind the Christian missionary movement are both deeply implicated in the invention of race.

©2010 Yale University (P)2020 Tantor

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  • J. Colman
  • 15-05-2021

Extraordinary

This is the most beautiful, hope filled, challenging piece of ‘black theology’. It goes so much further than the boundary of black theology and goes to the heart of a refocusing of what it means to follow Christ.

Thank you Dr Jennings

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  • R Brand
  • 19-08-2020

Origins of race

This is an impressive and important book for anyone seriously interested in race and its origin; strong on the distortions of the Christian story’s failures and opportunities. Fascinating early accounts of the race story are retold which help root the theological reflections. Heavy going in patches it is well worth the journey, and helped by superb narration.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.