What would a systematic theology of racism look like from the U.S. Church?
Listening to classic Negro spirituals, which she describes as the “old and rich repository of African American religious faith that is culturally expressed,” M. Shawn Copeland points out that the songs never refer to or mention vengeance or punishment.
“Still, we must weigh and consider our actions, weigh and account for the history that we have inherited and its consequences,” said Copeland, professor emerita of systematic theology at Boston College.
In an interview with Our Sunday Visitor, Copeland, the first Black theologian to serve as president of the Catholic Theological Society, spoke about the nation’s failures to address the structural consequences of slavery’s lingering legacy of discrimination and segregation.
“We cannot forget that white racist supremacy has been long entrenched in this nation and has damaged us all,” said Copeland, who referenced the 19th-century laws that curtailed the immigration of Chinese and other people from East Asia, the Anglicization of immigrants’ names at Ellis Island, the mistreatment of ethnic and religious minorities, and the internment of 120,000 Japanese-American citizens during World War II. Read more…..